Sunday, 26 October 2014

HI SUSHI IZAKAYA

This weekend I went to my first 'All you can eat' sushi for my friends birthday. I was a bit perplexed about the concept, the amount of food and the quality of the food we will get. I went with three of my friends who are addicted all you can eat sushi. I was the only one who didn't know this restaurant in the group.

The 'All you can eat' menu is called Tasting menu in this restaurant. Far away from the usual Japanese chef's special tasting menu, here you were offered two pieces of paper (see pictures below). The first one is a limited choice of sushi, sashimi, nigiri and three specials called 'bonus dishes'. You can order 5 of sushi & sashimi and you can repeat these dishes 5 times through the meal, then you can select all bonus dishes but they are served only once. The second part is A La Carte - hot dishes, you can select ten of them from the list, they are served only once.  
The tasting menu is £19.80 per person and you have 1 and a half hours to order and eat. 

We started our meal with a miso soup, the soup was nice and tasty. Nothing more special than other Japanese restaurant I went to.
 Miso soup

When the first plate of sushi & sahimi arrived I was impressed by the quantity. The quantity varied slightly depending on the number of guests around the table. 
Salmon sashimi were very nice, the salmon was fresh and tender. Salmon nigiri were as good as they used the same slice of salmon on top of the rice.
I didn't try the California due to my crab intolerance but my friends didn't leave any of them. 
Salmon & avocado roll were good too, and the balance between salmon and avocado was well proportioned. Usually in 'bad' Japanese there is less avocado than salmon. 
The spicy salmon roll wasn't really spicy apart from the sauce on top, it was ok but not my favourite. I thought it will have some wasabi inside the seaweed - like I had once in Dozo restaurant in Soho but no. 
 California roll, Salmon & avocado roll, Spicy Salmon roll, Salmon sashimi & Salmon Nigiri

The second plate of sushi & sashimi we ordered we asked for some of the bonus dishes. We avoided the crab option as I'm allergic. 
Ebi nigiri was ok but I thought the prawn could have been better, they didn't really taste like prawns. Prawn tempura roll with tobiko was very tasty and the tobiko had a little touch of crunchiness to the roll which was great. 
Salmon sashimi, Salmon nigiri, Ebi (shrimp) nigiri, Salmon & avocado roll,  Spicy salmon roll, Prawn tempura roll with tobiko

Tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet), Chicken gyoza, Sweet potato tempura, Squid ring tempura, Prawn tempura, Spicy salmon katsu, Chicken teriyaki


As main we had chicken gyoza, they were ok but not the best I had in my life, there was not enough stuffing in it. All tempura were nice and crunchy, not soggy at all. My favourite one was the prawn one. 
We had tonkatsu, it was a little bit dry but edible when you dipped into the Japanese curry sauce. 
My favourite hot dish was spicy salmon katsu, the breadcrumb was very nice and crispy around the fish, it was a little bit spicy but not too much.
Chicken teriyaki was a bit bland, which is a shame as the beef one was very good and tasted great. Beef teriyaki was also served with vegetables and not on its own, which probably helped to taste less bland.

We also had Japanese chicken curry. At the beginning I thought it was only the sauce for the tonkatsu but when it appeared I found some chicken pieces in it. They could have been a bit more generous with the chicken in it.
 Japanese chicken curry
Beef teriyaki


Overall it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sushi and sashimi were very good, fish was fresh and tender (which matters a lot in Japanese food). Some of the hot dishes could have been a bit better. 
20£ each was about right for the amount of food we had. 
We could have had more sushi & sashimi as we only ordered three times out of five. But we were all quite full at the end.

The only thing we were all disappointed about was more about the lack of great service and explanation from the team. 
You have one and half hours to eat. They didn't really explain the concept and didn't mention that the time starts from the moment you sit at the table and not from the moment you order. 
So my advice will be don't waist time with your friends catching up about life before you order the food as they might rush you to finish the food on time and also they charged if there is food wastage (£5 per person). Lucky us, we finished everything on time and didn't get charge for food wastage.
During the meal we request sometimes twice the same thing as they kept forgetting things (soy sauce, tap water, napkins...), they didn't forget to remind us about the time and the bill  at the end!

6/10.
Hi Sushi Izakaya
27 Catherine Street
WC2B 5JS London
Hi Sushi Izakaya on Urbanspoon
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