Drawing flocks of crowds from faithful regulars to far-flung destination travellers, the fine-tuned formula at Rock Star Sushi Bar is clearly ticking all the boxes, with a strong line in contemporary Japanese creations rooted in immaculate sourcing. A humble 12-seater restaurant, service is always on point in here with dedication, precision and passion in equal measure from Igor and his team. Who knew that this humble little Japanese outpost in the suburban depths of Colliers Wood would draw destination restaurant travellers from across the globe, holding pride of place as a consistent Tripadvisor sensation.
In this cosied-up setting with the twinkling glow of the fairy lights, we firstly tried the sparkling sake to pair with the contemporary Japanese dishes, which brought a mellow match of light and subtle bubbles.
Crowned with a shiso leaf, the seaweed salad had a freshly mixed texture which added piquancy to the bold and rich slices of wagyu beef. Fresh from the Kobe herd of Japan, the beautifully presented wagyu was certainly a premium dish, with exquisite marbling and a rounded flavour which you don’t usually get with native shore wagyu. The slab of pink Himalayan salt looked visually striking but also had the dual purpose of curing the beef and adding to the flavour.
Meanwhile, the rarely seen kampachi black cod was lightly scorched and had a feather-light texture, enhanced by the purple shiso and daikon fronds.
The freshly grated wasabi root is a real unique selling point, grated against the authentic shark’s skin paddle. This fresh wasabi was fresher, zestier and had a smoother, subtle taste which brought all of the Japanese flavours singing to life.
From the vibrantly named prawn tempura rock ‘n’ rolls section, there was a smorgasbord of delightful creations prepared for us. Favourites were the scorched salmon with avocado, torched garlic and teriyaki sauce. The torched salmon was an absolutely winning technique to feature; really accentuating a burnished flavour on the rich salmon.
Salmon sashimi is always a favourite of mine, and the impeccable freshness sourced from Japanese suppliers meant the sashimi grade fish was at its absolute prime. To complement, the ponzu-style dipping sauce was a delicious combination of citrussy yuzu, soy and sesame.
Straying from convention, cream cheese and passion fruit sauce was perhaps a steer towards a more Western palate and away for a traditional pairing. Immaculately presented, who wouldn’t be drawn to this spectacular sushi platter though.
Kampachi rolls with sugar snap and vibrant purple shiso were moreish and light, tasting just as good as they looked. Thick slices of tuna tataki were meltingly good, and avocado with tuna and black tobiko was also a striking combination.
For dessert, there were mochi rice dough balls of ice cream including the distinctive black sesame and green tea and flavours. Sakura-style-blossom sugar flowers were strewn prettily on the plate but for us the real rock star of the show was the preceding sushi selection.
With the prestigious sushi proficiency certification placed proudly above the kitchen, it’s clear that the hard-earnt accolade is doing wonders for the produce flowing from these doors, continuing to draw a crowd of eager locals and sushi-lovers alike from far and wide.
Rock Star Sushi Bar
Unit 5, Merton Abbey Mills , Watermill Way, London, SW19 2RD