Raw fish, I can’t get enough of it, ceviche, oysters, sashimi, sushi I love it all. In Buenos Aires I ended up eating ceviche at least once a week but there weren’t that many sushi options. Now I’m back in London and there’s a sushi joint on every corner. Some good, a lot bad and a few that are really great. A place that had caught my eye and was getting a lot of love from the blogs was Sushi of Shiori, a family run place with only 7 covers it’s a little gem just north of Warren St Tube. The chef there used to work at Umu, where I’d been a few weeks ago and this promised to be food of the same quality but a quarter of the price tag. If you order a head you can book an Omakase tasting menu that gives you a decent selection of sashimi and sushi along with a few other goodies so that’s what we went for.
Shiori is tiny, and I mean tiny but this means that firstly you feel like you have the place to yourself, and secondly you’ve got front row seats watching a real master at work. The precision and attention to detail that goes into prepping the plates before the come out is fascinating to watch. With the restaurant being so small you almost feel as if they’ve invited you into their home, while the husband chops and slices up the fish, his wife, a lovely front of house, talks you through all the different fish that are so beautifully laid out in front of you.
First thing put in front of us was a little amuse bouche of prawn and pickled turnip with a little salad accompanying it. Nothing mind blowing here but nice enough and washed down with a delicious miso soup with shitake mushrooms, but this wasn’t we’d come here for.
The first fish to come out was a beautifully presented plate of sashimi, we had Sea Bass, Chu Toro, Turbot and the best of the lot; scallop with a tiny little truffle in the middle. It was all wonderful and I really tried to savour each of the fish as they all had such contrasting flavours, I want to go back right now just for one more plate.
The Nigiri Sushi was of a similar quality although I preferred the sashimi. You’re given a cute little brush for the soy sauce so as not to break up the rice, something that always annoys me. The rice was a perfect texture, and the fish so soft and succulent it took all my self-restraint not to wolf them all down in seconds. This is sushi the way it should be, done with the best ingredients and with the utmost care. We had Sea Bass, Mackerel, and Yellow Tail and it was all awesome.
The last savoury dish was a succulent slice of Wagyu beef, seared with a blow torch, it was an all too small but delicious way to finish the meal.
While I really enjoyed this Omakase menu I think next time I go I’ll just stick to sushi and sashimi platters. Although it is nice to do it properly once, I’d rather spend my money on more fish than the beef or the green tea ice cream at the end and I think you can probably get a bit more bang for your buck. One other thing to say is that the sake selection that they have is both varied and affordable. Sake is certainly an acquired taste and one I am still getting used to but this was one of the nicest ones I’ve ever had.
Sushi of Shiori is a great place for a first date or to catch up with an old friend, but with only 7 seats best to book in advance and ask for a seat at the bar if you want to get a view of the chef. I’ve got a few more places I want to try out, the first being Sushi Hiro in Ealing but I am pretty confident in saying that this is one of the better ones in London.