Category: Brasserie (£££)
Admittedly, Yashin Sushi had a lot to live up to. I had my last sushi at the wonderful tiny sushi bar Sushi Tetsu, generally agreed to serve the best sushi in London. To add insult to injury, I was treated to a stellar meal at Zuma a couple of weeks back, which again convinced with its selection of non-sushi Japanese dishes. Yashin Sushi could only lose, and lose it did. While the sushi there was really quite good, it did not reach the level of Sushi Tetsu in regard of quality, attention to detail and presentation. Based on the sushi, I would nonetheless have awarded a green light. What however disappointed were the non-sushi dishes which were too expensive for what was offered and actually not that good.
We were seated at the sushi counter where four sushi chefs diligently prepared nigiri, maki and sashimi. Hot dishes came from the kitchen in the back of the restaurant. The Wagyu Beef Carpaccio (12.4) was a nice dish but lacking any wow factor. The beef was cut rather thick and as a consquence was on the chewy side. The soy and wasabi based dressing was not unpleasant but bland. To my surprise, the most enjoyable of the non-sushi dishes was the Tofu (6.2), served in a Le Creuset stoneware pot. (Yashin Sushi goes out of its way to use non-Japanese tableware, for example also serving sushi on porcelain plates). The hot and melting tofu was layered on top of a delicious sauce which I think contained wasabi and soy sauce. A dinner uninterrupted by baby (thanks grandma!) is a reason to splash out and so we ordered the Black Truffle Suzuki (24.2). The truffle shavings were plentiful and generous and this dish could have been wonderful, if it hadn’t been for the dry sea bass. At this price one would really expect the fish to be cooked spot on. Disappointing also was the Miso Lamb (9.5) which was tough and while I enjoyed the miso flavour, I failed to “get” the combination with fresh fruit and the sweet mango sauce. The waiter explicitly told us that the fruit was supposed to be eaten with the lamb, and this truly didn’t work as it made the dish sickly sweet.
The sushi was very nice but I am not sure it tasted worth £30 for 8 pieces of nigiri (Omakase Set 8). No soy sauce is served with the sushi (see paragraph below) but instead the fish comes with creative toppings, such as parmesan and tomato or mustard ponzu. I liked it but it was not memorable. The Sashimi platter (25) seemed better value for money regarding the amount of fish, but you have to make do with more conventional toppings.
Still hungry we chose the green tea ice cream from the limited dessert menu. While I liked the ice cream I was rather distraught by the salad of unripe and tasteless fruits it came with.
Service was odd – between incredibly helpful and friendly to ignoring us totally.
Every review I read about Yashin Sushi mentions the Without Soy Sauce sign hanging over the sushi counter, so it seems I have to also add my opinion. I understand that it must be frustrating for a sushi chef (don’t they train for decades?) when their meticulous creation are smothered in salty liquid. It’s probably on the same level of demanding Ketchup for your 10 course tasting menu at The Ledbury. At the same time I think if I am the paying customer (and Yashin Sushi is not cheap at all) and I want soy sauce (or Ketchup for that matter), then I should be able to have it without being frowned upon. The whole No Soy Sauce affair is a bit pretentious in my view, but then again I’m not a chef.
- Food: 6/10 (Sushi 7/10, other dishes 5/10)
- Service: 6/10
- Ambiance: 6/10
- Value for Money: 5/10
- Chances of Returning: only for sushi 30%
- Verdict: Very decent sushi, but I recommend to stay away from non-sushi dishes.