Sushi Done Three Ways. Cheap, moderate, expensive.
Ever since moving to London, I have been in a constant search for quality mid-range sushi, and while there is no shortage of Sushi establishments here, there is a lack of a cost-effective solution. In New York, there are countless sushi joints in every neighborhood where you can get a fantastic dinner for two with drinks for between $50-70. In London, its not so easy. There are places you can get a decent dinner at £40 for two people, but these are far and few between and you often have to plan such a dinner with reservations or take a long tube journey. Looking at London as a whole, most sushi places are either cheap take away's, that are by no means bad, or extremely expensive restaurants. I've probably had sushi at about ten places in London since moving here, and this is a list of one from each category that I think make the cut.
|Craftsmanship at Yashin|
First comes the expensive restaurant. Listed as one of the best on Timeout is Yashin. I went here about a year and a half ago and it was probably one of the best sushi experience i have ever had. Each piece was carefully crafted by two sushi chefs. During our dinner we sat at the bar and watched the chef's meticulously design every piece with precision. The meal was wonderful, and perfect. The price for perfection (and sake)? £90 for two people. Now, we didn't splurge either, and this is by no means the most expensive place to buy sushi in London
|Test-tube sake at Yashin|
Next up is the evasive mid-ranger. Now, I'll be honest in that I haven't been to all the potential choices such as Atari-ya or Sushi of Shiori, but even these places are pushing it into the expensive category if you want a full dinner with drinks. My choice for a decent mid-range sushi joint is Tsuru on Southbank. This place actually bridges the gap between cheap take-away and mid-range, but given that a dinner for two (excluding drinks) was £30, I feel like it deserves its place in this category. I've never had a sit down meal here, but I would assume its quite similar, fresh fish, interesting combinations and a decent meal. This is what I need when I want a nice sushi meal, however, besides these three places, I don't know of many other choices in this city.
Last comes the cheap sushi take-aways. I'll be honest, I think this is something London does right. I have had several delicious sushi lunches are places like Itsu or Abakado and I honestly believe it is great value for money. A fairly filling sushi lunch at one of these places is only between £5-10 and while you don't get the same fish variety as the mid or upper range places, the quality is what you would expect and appreciate.
|Abakado Sushi Lunch|
The last words of this, is that you should never be deceived by Yo! Sushi. It is awful, and expensive. I have been twice, and both times was utterly disappointed. A lunch here for two at the bar will put you at £20 before you have even wet your appetite or ordered a drink. Plates range in price between £3 and £6 and it takes at least 4 to even put a dent in a 12 year old girl's appetite. I don't understand how this place has become so successful but believe me, its not worth it, and I will never be back, ever.