ever since sushi of shiori's review in the observer i have been wanting to try it out. so finally on a late september afternoon s and i met up there for lunch. it's location is a bit strange as it is on the far end of drummond street, a decidedly sub-continental street marked not only by the numerous sub-continental restaurants but also by the very pronounced smell of curry powder and fried onions.
|the chef preparing sushi|
finding good reasonably priced sushi in london is quite a mission. in fact i can't remember the last time i had good sushi here so sushi of shiori turned out to be a real treat. sushi of shiori is a tiny space (just seven seats). one counter faces the window and the other the open kitchen. s and i were lucky enough to have gotten two seats facing the kitchen where an intent detail obsessed chef ran his sharp knives through fish cutting and slicing and turning his cuts into creations of art.
s and i both chose from the lunch menu. i am partial to sashimi as i love the texture of fresh raw fish so i went for the sashimi lunch. s went for the deluxe sushi. we figured it would be a good combination to try both. the sashmi platter was an exquisite combination of bright colours - salmon shaped into a rose on a large shiso leaf, red snapper with a hint of shredded daikon and wasabi and seabass with a garnish of spring onions. there was also two kinds of salad on the plate. the slight bite of mooli cut through with the sweetness of carrot and a sashimi salad with a fruity, citrusy and nutty dressing. on the side was a bowl of miso soup and some rice. the miso soup was excellent. s' sushi was also beautifully presented and tasted just as good. the fish was absolutely fresh and tasted like silk in the mouth. i had kept in mind jay rayner's critique of the rice and had pre-warned s about it too. the rice wasn't resistant to separating with ease but it could have done with a bit of warmth. of course we had green tea on the side.
|black sesame ice-cream|
to finish, s and i split the homemade black sesame ice-cream. i have had it before at a chinese restaurant. sesame ice-cream is sublime. it tastes like frozen creamy tahini paste and is very rich. black-sesame has a slightly more intense nuttier flavour with a hint of bitterness like that of dark chocolate as an end note. i have to confess that i am not much of a fan of the slate-grey colour though. it looks a bit like cement.
so the final verdict, sushi of shiori is definitely the best sushi i've had in london so far. i definitely want to go back for the omakase style menu.