Packed to the rafters one lunchtime, there were a lot of business meetings going on. We were sat at the bar in near the robata grills, chefs busy working away. The menu is long; split into sashimi, sushi, soups, rice dishes, seafood and meat grills, I stared dumbfoundedly for a few moments.
Edamame glistened with salt flakes and were lovely served warm. A red miso soup had a real punch to it, a depth that its white sister lacks.
Yellowtail, salmon and tuna sashimi was served on an enormous bowl of chipped ice. Cut thickly, the fish was beautifully fresh, though I winced at its price tag in the late teens.
Tuna, pickled mooli and shiso leaf sushi was gorgeous. Ever so lightly battered and deep fried so that the seaweed was crispy, I wondered how on earth they got this done without cooking its innards. The mooli had a slight tang to it, lifted by the minced shiso. I was glad our waitress recommended this.
Two scallops (at a whopping £13 or so) were served with wasabi mayonnaise. Big fat specimens, the char of the grill deepened the flavour of the flesh and kept them transluscent and juicy inside.
I'm not one to pass up on aubergine, you know that. These were soft, silken and sweet. A perfect example. I hogged it.
I found it difficult to taste the smokiness in the smoked duck breast, but the kumquat and persimmon sauce worked well in its tart sweetness with the richness of the duck fat. Sliced ever so thinly, the meat was tender, the skin crisp.
Sesame and honey chicken wings were the biggest bargain at £4.90. Dipped into the salt mixed with lime juice, these had me licking my fingers in the most unseemly manner.
Rock shrimp tempura'd was served with a chilli mayonnaise. While addictive (they reminded me of KFC's popcorn chicken in that sense) they were fairly one dimensional in flavour, though expertly and greaselessly fried.
Given it was a mid-week lunch, I had to rudely run off before we had even asked for the bill, leaving my companion sat on his own. Honestly, why can't we have two hour lunch breaks?
When I receive my unexpected windfall of dosh, I'll be back for the rest of the menu.
37 Charlotte Street
London W1T 1RR
Tel: 020 7580 0220