Here is yet another review of a Japanese restaurant. This time it goes all the way to High Street Kensington area where Yashin Sushi, a small sushi restaurant, is hiding in one of the side streets. As you would expect from the area the restaurant is maturely decorated in a simplistic way with a few extravagant details. The space is quite small with the main sitting area surrounding the chef counter. There is a small room downstairs with a bar for bigger parties where you will also find the wine/sake storage tucked away in a small space next to the bathrooms.
We sat at the far end of the counter in front of the prep section (I think). The menu is quite straight forward with a selection of mixed dishes to complement the sushi offering. I went for Omakase Eleven which was a selection of eleven pieces of nigiri and a maki roll of the day. Together we shared the Wagyu Beef Sirloin and Yaki Yose Tofu.
The first hint of Western elements mixed into the restaurant concept was the miso soup served in an exquisite tea cup. Beautiful and neat but felt a bit strange to mix the soup in the tea cup with my chopsticks.
Fresh salad with a nice dressing. The dressing could have been mixed into the salad for more even flavour since mixing yourself would be a bit messy in that plate.
The beef was nice but it didn’t have the same concentration of meat flavour as other wagyu beef dishes I’ve had before. Although the wasabi sauce worked with the beef I expected it to have more punch to it.
This was the star of the meal along with some of the nigiri I had later. It’s home made tofu with sweet wasabi soy sauce. It was soft, silky smooth and flavourful after mixing the sauce with tofu.
Finally came the main of the meal, eleven pieces of nigiri and maki sushi rolls (which I don’t have a picture of). The maki sushi came when I was about to finish the plate of 11 pieces which made them feel dull in comparison. I would have preferred to start with the maki and then go on with the more elaborate plate of nigiri.
Yashin Sushi’s style is the incorporation of Western ingredients as toppings. The use of umami rich ingredients like parmesan, sun dried tomato and foie gras with sushi is not traditional but it does elevate the flavour sensation. The nigiri were well crafted with well cooked room-tempered rice. A final touch of the blowtorch on some pieces added some depth to the flavours as well. It’s refreshing to see non-traditional ingredients in sushi used in a delicate way. As a sushi purist I have to add that I prefer to see the fish being lifted out without the use of fancy ingredients.
The service was smooth and the ratio of staff to guests was high for the small space. While the sushi was very nice the most memorable item from this meal was the home-made tofu. I was very happy with the food in general and will come back in the future. It’s not very friendly for the wallet though and for the same price I enjoyed Sushi Tetsu more.
For more photos from Yashin Sushi, please visit my Flickr set.
1A Argyll Road
London W8 7DB
Tel. +44 (0)20 7938 1536