Pin It


Sushi-Say, London (Revisited) [Restaurant Review]

Friday, 12 June 2009

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

Once again, we had rice cravings, so that left us with pretty much either Chinese or Japanese to choose from. The suckling pig
(one of our eating companions and part-time hand model on this blog) had read our review on Sushi Say before and wanted to give it a try as well; we didn’t turn down the offer to eat here again.


We had all skipped lunch so dinner was quite early at 6pm and were probably quite lucky to get a table as all the other tables had “Reserved” placards on them. The Ika somen was our first dish to arrive. As we had already covered this in the previous review, I won’t say much this time.


Soon after this came our selections of sushi and sashimi. The Omakase sashimi came first; it roughly translates into the chef’s selection and apparently the choicest fish are provided. It seemed quite true as well, since we ended up with a pair each of toro, salmon, yellowtail, scallop, ebi, mackerel, sea bass and squid. It had everything one might want from sashimi – freshness, quality and quantity (very very thick sliced).


In fact, it was so good, we ordered another plate of toro. To explain, toro is the fatty belly part of tuna meat. If you look at the picture, you will notice that the colour is completely different to normal tuna meat which is of a darker purpley pink (Google Image “tuna sashimi”). This is because the extra fat in toro makes the meat lighter in colour and much tastier. I once read that while eating toro, you should “let it melt in your mouth”; while I admit that I did have to masticate a little, the meat is indeed a lot softer and juicier – it is a bit like comparing wagyu to standard beef. Just to make things more complicated, toro comes in two grades – o-toro and chu-toro. I was lucky enough to have eaten o-toro in Atami with a 50% voucher, and from memory the o-toro was even fattier than the toro today so I assume today’s quality to be chu-toro. Nevertheless, the plate came with seven pieces, with three of us sharing, we ended up splitting the seventh piece into three parts – it was THAT desirable.



We each had a Sea urchin nigiri sushi. The commentators on Iron Chef used to say that it was described as “foie gras of the sea”, but I’m not sure how common this description is. Anyway the sea urchin is very rich, creamy and packed with sea flavour but the taste may not suit all.


Last of the sushi/sashimi entrees was a California maki which used the standard ingredients as other stores. The only thing that makes this different is the quality of the rice; well cooked and seasoned whilst having that slightly chewy texture loved by the Japanese.


As a side note, I learnt something new from the suckling pig today which might be interesting. According to Japanese customs, one should start off with the cold dishes first before eating the hot cooked food so as to not spoil one’s tongue to savour the sashimi or sushi.

After this came the hot starters. First was the Geso shio yaki or grilled squid tentacles with salt (we had just watched a movie with an octopus in it and the suckling pig was hungry for squid!). I wasn’t too keen on it but my wife and the suckling pig said it was very good, not rubbery at all like in some other places.


The Gindara shio or black cod with salt, served with shredded daikon radish, was something I eyed on my previous visit but didn’t try. It didn’t escape my greed this time! The wife and I loved it; the fish was fresh, juicy, sweet and just nicely cooked. The PigPig also enjoyed the little seaweed by the side.


Now that we were done with the starters, the mains soon came. The suckling pig and I each had a Katsudon or deep fried breaded pork cutlets with onions and egg on a bed of rice. The pork cutlets were nice and tender, with just a little bit of fat at one end to make me happy and then dunked into the onions and egg which were cooked separately with a sweetish teriyaki-like sauce. I felt the rice was a bit too wet but my other two companions didn’t seem to mind it.



Mind you, the PigPig was very busy with her bowl of Tempura udon. The three of us dining that day have a bit of a fetish for udon, there’s just something about the slightly chewy thick noodle we particularly love slurping up. Sushi Say’s udon was done just nice, soft exterior with a chewy inner bit. The soup itself is pretty good too. I’m not a huge fan of tempura, but they seemed decent enough.



Sushi Say doesn’t have much in the variety of dessert, but it does have about a dozen different flavours of home made ice cream. Naturally we tried the green tea (a must try isn’t it?), red bean, sesame and chestnut. The suckling pig wasn’t too keen on the green tea, saying it lacked creaminess, but we felt it was pretty good and didn’t have any ice or powder bits in it, a definite no-no. The red bean was full of the beany flavour, very good. The sesame again had mixed reactions – the PigPig and me quite liked the flavour but the suckling pig said it had a weird herbal taste he didn’t enjoy (he’s a bit fussy as you might have picked up). We all agreed that we didn’t like the chestnut much though as the taste wasn’t very nice and the texture was a bit too powdery from the chestnuts.

Red bean & green tea ice-cream

Chestnut, green tea & sesame ice-cream

Okay, I admit that we did over-order and we were all very full at the end of the meal. We couldn’t help it though… At any rate, the cost including tea for three of us came to nearly £150 or about £50 each.

Food - 7.5
Service - 6.0
Atmosphere - 5.0
Value - 7.5

In my first review, I scored the food 9.0 with the caveat that it was based on a small sample of the menu. This time though, having had more (a lot more) dishes, it’s safe to say that the food is of outstanding quality. I can easily see myself eating here again and again and yet again to satisfy my regular sushi cravings and I have no real desire to try other Japanese restaurants because this one ticks all my boxes – fresh fish, generous slices, excellent sushi rice (it’s important to emphasize just how difficult it is to make really good rice; some are too sweet/sour/salty while some just fall apart en route to mouth, bad!), delicious udon.

PS. This paragraph is being written a week after the review was originally written. During the past week, not only me, but the PigPig and my friend (who wishes to go by the internet name Suckling Pig and is now our part-time hand model) were fantasizing about eating more toro, sushi and udon.

PPS. Its now been another week since the last entry and… we caved. We just had to have more of Sushi-Say so after a (not really) tiring day at work on Tuesday, we decided to drive the hour it took to the restaurant to have some more toro and udon. Ahhh satisfaction~~

Read about our first time visit here-->Sushi-Say, London Review

33b Walm Lane,
Tel: +44(0)208459 2971

Sushi-Say on Urbanspoon

36 oink oinks...:

KennyT said...

:) Wot a great family night out.

lisaiscooking said...

Delicious looking sushi! It's the noodles, though, that grabbed my attention just now. Those look incredible!

kiss my spatula said...

wow - that is my version of a perfect night out! i had omakase on a recent visit to vancouver and loved being surprised by the chef. the tempura udon, sashimi, everything looks just amazing. i'm so hungry now. :)

DeliciosoMama said...

Oh. Nuts.
Why is London so far away?
That looks SO good...all that yummy fresh fish, noodles...anything japanese -sushi-ish...
Maybe my appetitie is coming back ?

Jenn said...

I wish I had sushi instead of the plain chicken sandwich i had.

yAnn said...

yummy...I love Japanese food!

Emile Zola@life said...

Your photos are just awesome, and the food look delicious too.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

It looks great and I always enjoy black cod. It's one of those fish that is so moist and delicate. Such a joy to eat!

5 Star Foodie said...

Everything looks excellent here! Now I have a huge craving for sushi! Yum!

Reeni♥ said...

What a great dinner. I would of had to wear stretchy pants or I might have popped a button!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Not sure why they put the tempura in the soup instead of on the side because the tempura turned soft and mushy while eating the udon.

Parita said...

Gorgeous sushi

Wild Boar said...

Haha it was just a family of me, the wife and a good buddy.

Trust me, the noodles were indeed, incredible :-D

kiss my spatula:
I'm getting hungry myself just looking at the pictures again. I heard Vancouver has some good sushi since there's lots of fresh fish around.

Eating chicken sandwiches during work lunch is just depressing :-( I'm in the same boat (sometimes).

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella:
The black cod really is a class apart from the average fish! Not surprised Nobu was so famous with it starring in their signature dish.

Little Corner of Mine:
Ah, a veteran of eating tempura udon? I forgot to tell them to separate it when I ordered (was a bit excited). I remembered to tell them to do so the next time I visited, and they were very happy to oblige.

Helene said...

You're lucky to have access to such a nice restaurant. I like the way the present the food. Looks so delicious.

Natashya said...

It all looks so wonderful! I have never had really high quality Japanese fare.

The Food Addicts said...

omg, everything looks amazing - not to mention, your photography is great!!! what a great post... full of color and jazz!

burpandslurp said...

CHESTNUT ice cream? Oh my gosh. Everything looks so yummy, I don't even know where to start. The katsudon is particularly stunning to me. I love the runny, creamy eggs on top.
Btw, which camera do you use? I LOVE your photography.

s. stockwell said...'re killing me with this beautiful collection of my favorites! love it. best, s

MamaFaMi said...

I don't really know why, but I just can't get myself to eat sushi at any outlets but will only eat it if I made it myself, though my sushi is not the original ones.. haha...

mycookinghut said...

I knew why pigpig would be so busy with her bowl of noodles cos I would too!!
Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I have never been there, another one to check out!! :)

♥peachkins♥ said...

Amazing photos!! I would love to have a taste of those ice creams...

Angie's Recipes said...

This review brings me the appetite for Sushi back......Love to see the chef show at the teppanyaki's fun.

Dhanggit said...

OMG the photos are all yummy!!! :-)

Chef E said...

We love sushi in our house, and I am with Lisa, those noodles are what I likie!

Loved the PS, PSS stuff you got going on :)

We have the opportunity to also attend a Japanese Kindai Tuna tasting from the embryo growing techniques they are doing over there, and the Toro was supreme, so I can see how one would be tempted to return so soon!!!

Barbara Bakes said...

Looks like a sushi feast for sure!

Lori Lynn said...

The photos are terrific. It sounds excellent, wish I was going to London soon.
Have to find that chestnut and sesame ice cream somewhere around here...I'm going to Mitsuwa to look for it!
Lori Lynn

Lizzie said...

I came here on a Saturday lunchtime and whilst the food was good, the service was unimpressive. We weren't allowed to sit at the counter as "it's not for lunch time" but they were perfectly happy to allow a couple with a toddler to sit there. Most annoying.

Wild Boar said...

The Food Addicts:
The PigPig's camera is pleased to hear that.

Its a Canon 450D SLR, recently voted in Stuff magazine to be an all rounder SLR that's good value too.

That's a really weird thing o_O

Always glad to drum up interest for worthy food places.

Yeah they had some quite adventurous stuff like wasabi and black pepper too if I recall correctly. We had flavours like that before and I didn't enjoy them too much so we avoided it this time.

Angie's Recipes:
I always have appetite for sushi! Ah I don't think there's a teppanyaki grill on view, just a sushi counter if I recall correctly.

Chef E:
Wow you're really lucky to have had Kindai Toro!! Now I'm jealous!

Lori Lynn:
Haha any luck finding your ice cream?

I have to admit we've never tried to sit at the counter yet, although we're quite interested to see the chef in action. I vaguely remember other comments on other websites saying that people weren't allowed to sit at the counter either. That aside though, I have yet to have serious problems with their service. Also, their level of English is actually better than the average home-style Japanese restaurant, which helps loads when making special requests.

emiglia said...

Wow. Just...


I'm drooling. So jealous. The next time I'm in London, I'll be there.

Olga said...

Great photos! I usually order rolls when I go out for sushi. Nice to see the restaurant you went to had ice cream!

Wild Boar said...

mmMMMmmmm looking back at the sashimi, I have to say I want more.. again..

I love the maki rolls too! But it was probably going to be a bit too much for us since we had ordered a main each too.

The Caked Crusader said...

Looks a great meal - beautiful presentation too. I could have happily eaten the lot!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

First of all I love restaurant reviews and yours was top notch. The pictures are incredible. How fun.

Wild Boar said...

The Caked Crusader:
Hehe we happily ate the lot :-D

My Carolina Kitchen:
Thanks! Hope it was useful for you and other people.

thepleasuremonger said...

Great review on Sushi-Say! I just scooted over from catty's site, I'm a huge Sushi-Say fan, just wrote a review on them even though we've been visiting them for more than half a year, if you love oysters, you can go for kaki su. the geso tempura is very good, and so is the yakitori. if you're feeling adventurous, try the wasabi and ginger ice cream.

Wild Boar said...

Thanks for dropping a line. Yeah we've never tried the kaki-su or geso tempura before I think so we'll definitely give that a shot next time. I think we've tried the wasabi/ginger ice creams before which weren't up my street; I much prefer their matcha ice creams.

Post a Comment