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Sushi-Hiro, London [Restaurant Review]

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

Alright, so I did proclaim Sushi-Say to be my favourite all time best ever Japanese restaurant and had no interest in finding a new regular place to eat Japanese food, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t try new places; I wouldn’t be much of a food blogger if I did that.

The PigPig has been hearing good stuff about Sushi Hiro, mainly that it serves good sushi at quite reasonable prices. The only problem was its location, in remote Ealing. We arrived at opening time, luckily too as they were apparently fully booked for the day but were able to squeeze us in. They got quite odd opening times (for normal London restaurants anyway) at 11am to 1.30pm (2pm is the last call for ordering food for lunch) and 4.30pm to 9pm for dinner only Tuesday to Sundays.


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Located right opposite Ealing Common tube station, the façade of Sushi Hiro wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen. Inside however is a different story; it was bright and airy with cheerful young Japanese staff.


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We were seated at the bar counter and had a bird’s eye view of all the fresh seafood on display. A waitress quickly served us hot green tea (they serve it to everybody coming in) and gave us a menu and paper to tick our choices. The menu was very focused as Sushi Hiro only served sushi and sashimi (ok yes they do have edamame and miso soup, but it doesn’t really count).


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Our choice of a deluxe nigiri platter to share came quickly. Being the most expensive sushi platter available, it had only the choicer types of seafood available, no space for egg or cucumber makis here. Instead, we ate unagi (eel), toro (tuna belly), salmon, mackerel, scallop, seabream, seabass, yellowtail, surf clam, crab, squid, ama ebi (sweet shrimp), salmon eggs; in summary they were all very fresh and there were no complaints at all.


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However, the seafood is only half of the sushi; the rice also has to be tasty as well. To me, the rice felt a little bit harder than other places I’ve eaten at and less seasoned with sugar/vinegar. The sushi chef still made the sushi well though, with the rice being well pressed and firm, only once did some rice break away en route from plate to mouth. Personally, I preferred Sushi-Say’s rice. Also, the sushi chef was perhaps just a wee bit too aggressive in his wasabi delivery for my liking.

Other sushi we tried included the uni (sea urchin); the uni served here was darker and richer in colour but unfortunately not in taste. Although still delicious, it didn’t seem as rich as the ones served in Sushi-Say.

The chilli flying fish roe was not very spicy but quite salty. It was something new for me but wasn’t too impressive.

Similarly the razor clams were quite sweet but not as sweet as I’ve had elsewhere.


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The spotted prawns on the other hand were amazingly presented. I had dismissively assumed the prawn head to be a decorative headpiece (hehe) only to realise later it was filled to the head (hehehe) with roe, after the head had been lightly deep fried with a dash of salt. I made a bit of a mess trying to dig it out with pieces of shell flying everywhere, only for the PigPig to elegantly remove one side of the head, laying the entire contents vulnerable for her to eat up. Oh and the prawn meat itself was pretty good too, slightly sticky in its raw form with only the sweetness of the prawn to enjoy.


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It was always going to be a bit hard to impress me after the spotted prawns, but the anago (sea eel) managed to do just that. Although it looked like a bit of a mess on the plate, the incredibly creamy texture was just amazing. Although I’ve eaten unagi (freshwater eel) several times before, this anago is new to me and it was a delight to try.


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Lastly, the PigPig just had to order a futomaki. Although normally quite large in size, the ones here seemed even bigger than normal. The PigPig especially loved it as they not only used lots of the pickled gourds and mushrooms but they also added some prawn to the roll, giving it an extra layer of taste and slight chewy texture.


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Altogether, the bill came to £30 per person for a very large and filling meal of top quality sushi and some complimentary miso soup.

Food – 6.0
Service – 6.0
Atmosphere – 6.0
Value – 5.0


Without a doubt, very good quality sushi/sashimi served. Unfortunately, its only sushi/sashimi you’ll get here. While the range of sushi is wider than Sushi-Say’s, I do prefer Sushi-Say’s extra large slices of fish and other goodies on the menu. However, I think that sushi fans will still be very happy to visit this restaurant.

Would I eat here again? If Sushi-Say burned down (touch wood).

Sushi-Hiro
1 Station Parade,
Uxbridge road
Ealing, W5 3LD
Tel: +44(020) 8896 3175

Sushi-Hiro on Urbanspoon


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