January, the month of doom, gloom and post Christmas bloat, the very thought of a roast potato makes a waistline expand. If ever there was a month to seek out lean, mean Japanese cuisine then this is it- but where does one go that won`t break the bank but still remains ‘luxurious’?
Top quality Japanese food is notoriously expensive and there are so many sushi places in London you`re heart sinks with each Google search. Luckily for avid Lussorian readers we have the answer, `See Sushi` in Paddington, a wonderful hidden gem tucked just off the Edgware road, away from the trendies yet wonderfully central. As soon as you enter the venue the staff rush to welcome you and make you feel at home, there is no pretension at See Sushi, no gimmicks, just fantastic, fantastic food all rustled up with zero fuss, no waiting time and little expense considering its quality.
The interior is just what you need from a restaurant too: soft, simple yet cosy and welcoming at the same time (thankfully it ignores the irritating Wagamama trend – you`re not expected to share tables with strangers, you`re able to book in advance and the lighting isn`t austere nor the furnishing depressingly minimalist).
After settling ourselves into a candlelit corner we began by ordering a simple starter of pocket size vegetable dumplings and salty edamame beans- perfect for wetting the appetite! Then on to the main: crisp little Pumpkin croquettes, beautifully dressed seaweed salad, sticky eel and sweet black cod, clean virtuous sashimi and tiny wrong but oooo so right sour pickles- all washed down with Japanese beer and a chilled Sauvignon Blanc.
So, was it any good? Where to begin? The black cod was so tender it remained closer to butter in texture than fish, plus it was marinated into perfect bittersweet stickiness, a great contrast to the deliciously starchy pumpkin croquettes (opt for them instead of rice- you`ll feel terribly smug with you exotic choice, and for health nuts you`ll be opting for a superfood!). I only tasted the eel which sounds like a risky choice as a main but is in fact a favourite in Japan, and rightly so. It has that same meaty, robust flavour you find from mackerel or anchovies – I love both of these and guarantee if you do also then eel is a fish you need to encounter at least once in your life (just try it with spoonful of sticky rice to counteract the richness). The sashimi was pure and perfectly presented, which is exactly how it should be- there is not a lot to say about these clean slivers of fish except that when they`re good they`re very very good and when they are bad they are food poisoning. These were very very good.
If you venture to see sushi you must, must order that seaweed salad, it`s not only a leaner alternative to vegetable tempura but a tastier one too and you`ll still have room to clean your palate with a dollop of green tea ice cream and a calming pot of jasmine tea.
I`m still uncertain about writing this review because I don`t want everyone else crowding my new favourite Japanese refuge, its really is worth the visit!
4d Praed Street, Paddington, London, W2 1JX
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
To see our full Disclosure Policy please click here.