Do you reckon you know your sashimi from your nigiri? For foodies looking for a new sushi fix, our selection of the best sushi restaurants spans local favourites, high-end retreats and some unexpected newcomers across London. From experimental fusion flavours to play-it-safe favourites, these are our top picks of the best sushi joints in town.
Tsunami takes things up a notch for premium sushi, and then some. With chefs from the stables of Nobu, this multi-award-winning sushi restaurant represents glorious value, with sushi at the fraction of the price of some big-name sushi players. Crowning Tsunami champions in the UK Sushi Roll Championships, the multi-textured dragon rolls are an absolute must-try, with crisp shrimp tempura and meltingly soft avocado. Also worth a mention is the sun-kissed tuna and salmon sashimi drizzled in searing-hot olive oil. This place is one of my favourites that I return to again and again: when the staff recognise you at a restaurant, you know it’s got serious.
2.Sticks n Sushi Book Sticks n Sushi
With two London outposts of Sticks n Sushi, this cutting-edge restaurant is renowned for its Scandinavian-chic design and expertly crafted sushi. Nordic and Japanese influences are fused, and a mixture of sizzling yakitori sticks sit alongside modern and traditional sushi combinations on the menu. Check out the Hell’s Kitchen maki and duck heart sticks, or the loaded eponymous sushi and sticks platters.
Photo by Dining Without Borders
Hidden at the end of a minute alleyway, this is one of Clerkenwell’s closely guarded secrets. If you’re after a traditional Japanese sushi bar with spankingly-good authentic treats, Sushi Tetsu is for you. Sourced from Billingsgate market, the uber-fresh sashimi takes an adventurous turn with plump jumbo shrimp, razor clams and briny sea urchins, or you can feast on the chef’s special Omakase menu with a constantly changing selection.
Photo by Sushisamba
Not just for City dwellers, Sushisamba is all the rage amongst the in-crowd atop the lofty heights of the Heron Tower. This is more than your average sushi joint: after a hair-raising ride in the bullet-fast elevator, you’re met with incredible views, funky bamboo cage canopies and twinkly lights. Feast on fancy-schmantzy sashimi here with the likes of turbot and sea water caviar, brioche & truffle oil. For slick NYC-style sushi bursting with colour, the samba rolls with strawberry and tiger maki are a must. A word of warning: watch the waiters as they will push for the upsell constantly!
5.Nobu Book Nobu
Photo by Nobu
A worldwide phenomenon, Nobu was the first key player to peddle fusion A-list sushi with a price tag to match. Robert de Niro has a stake in the Nobu phenomenon, with the restaurant’s namesake coming from master sushi chef himself, Nobu Matsuhisa. This heavy-duty, sultry Japanese restaurant is the big name that everyone knows in the sushi stakes, and the signature sashimi with spicy tuna and shrimp tempura hand rolls are ones to remember.
Photo by Haute Living
With outposts in Bangkok, Miami and Dubai, world-renowned Zuma is prized for its contemporary izakaya-style sharing approach to swish sushi and Japanese cuisine. The fiery taste explosion of dynamite spider roll with soft-shell crab, chilli mayo and wasabi tobiko sauce is a winner, and, aside from the sushi, you can try sizzling dishes from the robata grill, or sip on one of 40 silky saké blends in the saké bar and lounge.
7.Sake No Hana Book Sake No Hana
From the in-demand Hakkasan restaurant group, Sake No Hana presents picture-perfect sushi in a futuristic, sculptural woodland setting from Japanese design-guru Kengo Kuma. Order bespoke sushi like spicy tuna maki or sea bass sashimi with chilli ponzu dressing from the made-to-order sushi bar, and visit during Sakura season when you can dine beneath a blooming sky of powder-pink cherry blossoms.
Photo by Roka
Sister restaurant to big-name Zuma, Roka has a specialist take on Japanese barbecue-style robatayki cuisine, and is renowned for its sashimi and sushi delicacies. Favourites include kampachi sashimi no salada of yellowtail sashimi with rich truffled yuzu and mizuna. In summer, you can enjoy sushi at the Charlotte Street venue when the glass walls open out on to the street.
9.Hi Sushi Salsa
Photo by Timeout
It may not look much from the outside, but this Japanese-Latin-American hybrid on Camden Lock serves a decent line in traditional hand-made sushi and bento boxes. Try signature creations at Hi Sushi Salsa like the rainbow rolls or hip hop rolls with tataki salmon, crabmeat, avocado and fried garlic. Deeply sunken booth tables mean you’re sitting on the floor, but in a glamorous way.
Photo by Chotto Matte
Soho Newcomer Chotto Matte features a unique setting for its immaculate Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, with an open sushi counter and ultra-glow, street-art-inspired design. Interesting creations like the scallop sashimi with coriander, black salt and punchy jalapeno give a nod to both Peruvian and Japanese influences. Similarities in these cultural cuisines fuse beautifully through the likes of ceviche and sashimi, perfectly embodying the new wave of fusion sushi restaurants in London.