Do you reckon you know your sashimi from your nigiri? For foodies looking for a new sushi fix, those trying something new or diners opting for a lighter meal, 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.
1. aqua kyoto Book aqua kyoto
This revamped sleek setting serves up some of the finest sushi in the capital. aqua boasts rooftop views, perfect for its boozy brunch, while inside, the dark and moody setting is accented with gold, mauve and sea-green colours. From the raw bar, order bento boxes featuring a variety of sushi or choose the chef-recommended succulent tuna chútoro tataki with sea vegetables and tomato miso, served with fresh wasabi root. There’s the lobster tempura, cucumber and jalapeño roll with lobster miso or everything from squid to sea bass sashimi-style.
2. Hot Stone Book Hot Stone
An award-winning sushi destination with a menu centred around the ancient Ishiyaki hot stone cooking technique and boasting chefs with years of Japanese cuisine experience at some big names like Nobu. Mix and match sushi and sashimi delicacies to share, including fatty tuna sashimi with red jalapeño or a soft-shell crab roll. Indulge in a premium platter of salmon, octopus, scallop and more, which is then served with authentic Japanese wasabi, freshly grated at the table. While those looking for something different can sear certified Kobe beef on the 400°C hot stone or choose a luxurious maki roll stuffed with A5 Japanese wagyu beef and prawn, and topped with caviar and truffle.
3. Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay Book Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay
From the acclaimed Ramsay fleet, this elegant Asian eating house in Mayfair does small plates, Robata grills and a selection of well-crafted sushi from the feature raw bar. With décor influenced by 1930s Tokyo nightlife, find shelves lined with maneki-neko figurines and gold-accented furnishings in the chic, moody space. Offering a range of raw dishes, including sumptuous tuna tataki with wakame oil, razor clam flavoured with wasabi and green apple and stunningly simple crunchy salmon and avocado maki. Pair each course with an expertly mixed cocktail like the Geisha-inspired drink or a customisable Negroni.
4. Tsunami Book Tsunami
Tsunami takes things up a notch for premium sushi, offering glorious value, with plates at the fraction of the price of some big-name sushi players. Colourful and considerably composed platters paired with creative cocktails and a range of wines, spirits, and sake. From eel nigiri to scallop and tobiko maki rolls, and classic rainbow rolls, Japanese cuisine fans can choose from a unique selection of fresh flavour combination. A must-try on the menu is the signature multi-textured dragon rolls, with crisp shrimp tempura and meltingly soft avocado.
5. Nobu Book Nobu
A worldwide phenomenon, Nobu was the first key player to peddle fusion A-list sushi with a price tag to match. Frequented by well-heeled guests and celebrities, even Robert de Niro has a stake in the Nobu empire. 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. Impressing with its signature sashimi salad or tempura sea urchin and shiso, while the spicy tuna hand rolls are also ones to remember.
6. TOKii and The Malt Lounge Book TOKii and The Malt Lounge
Marrying east and west through seafood, sushi, and meats cooked on the Robata grill is TOKii and the Malt Lounge. Sample a range of raw dishes, from tuna tartare with avocado, miso, and lotus crisps or share nigiri, sashimi and hand rolls filled with a choice of fish, including yellowtail belly and lean salmon. In the classic chic restaurant, find walls patterned with ocean-themed iconography contrasted against elegant Japanese design with minimal wooden features and clean lines for a tranquil atmosphere.
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 an annually evolving blooming sky of powder-pink cherry blossom-style décor.
8. Roka Book Roka
Sister-restaurant to big-name Zuma and a culinary hotspot in itself, 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 salmon tartare adding umami with den miso. From the robata grill, enjoy wasabi-seasoned scallop skewers or sweet soy asparagus for a veggie option. In summer, you can enjoy sushi at the Charlotte Street venue when the glass walls open out on to the street.
9. Pacific Book Pacific
From Australian MasterChef, acclaimed Shaun Presland brings his Australian flair to Japanese cuisine with 25 years of experience under Japanese chefs. In an informal setting, sample grilled fish dishes and sashimi alongside Pacific-region wines. Build your own nigiri platter featuring the likes of kingfish, seabass and bluefin tuna topped with fried shiso. Freshly grated wasabi is paired with the signature Bondi roll, a riceless sashimi roll with avocado and chives wrapped in Tokyo turnip and served with house soy.
10. Bloomsbury Street Kitchen Book Bloomsbury Street Kitchen
Worth a mention is the Mediterranean and Japanese-inspired Bloomsbury Street Kitchen with its varied menu. Share contemporary small plates from its unique à la carte, ranging from Japanese flat tacos stuffed with tuna sashimi and a delectable truffle ponzu mayo to crispy harumaki rolls with soft-shell-crab. For vegetarians, there is ample choice with tacos, Med-style gyros and avocado tartare flavoured with shichimi soy, to be devoured while sipping on cocktails from the eye-catching bar. Close to West End, enjoy its pre-theatre menu in the stylish white tiled space, with vines snaking above marble-topped tables.