Everyone is searching for something. Some people are trying to find their purpose in life, some are still trying to find out the truth about aliens, and others have just been trying to find their mobile for the last 20 minutes. Personally, what we’re looking for is some good sushi in this beloved city of ours.
And before you start with your, ’There’s lots of decent sushi in London!’, we’re going to stop you. Because you are wrong. There are like 3.2 decent sushi places in the whole of London and they’re bloody expensive. Beyond that, there are a handful of places that just OK and still bloody expensive, and then way too many places that serve cheap, nasty, ‘I can’t believe this is sushi’ bull crap. But Sushi Atelier has finally changed all that, and hit on the holy grail of sushi in London: it’s high quality, affordable, and even interesting.
First and foremost, the foundations of the sushi and sashimi at Sushi Atelier are solid. The fish tastes of the type of fish it’s supposed to be, so if you ever found yourself in a situation where you were blindfolded at Sushi Atelier and the fate of humanity depended on you to ‘name that fish’, you would be able to utter the words ‘fatty tuna’ with the utmost confidence.
Quality fish at reasonable prices would be enough to get us interested, but Sushi Atelier takes it to the next level by topping the fish with interesting toppings, and at times, even getting a little theatrical. The razor clam ceviche, for example, comes in smoke-filled dome that is released on arrival to your table, while the butterfish carpaccio is seared and topped with foie gras, and BBQ tuna is topped with parmesan. Usually these would sound poncey, but the additions manage to accent the fish instead of overpowering it.
This is also true of the omakase, which comes with things like whiskey jelly or truffle. Despite any qualms you might have about these ingredients ending up on unsuspecting fish, the result is actually fun, interesting, and tastes very good. Plus, at £26.80 for a 12 pieces or £14.80 for six pieces, it’s also the most reasonably-priced omakase we can think of.
While the food comes with fancy toppings, the restaurant itself is laid back and casual. As you walk in, there’s a sushi counter on the ground floor with a huge mural painted onto a brick wall. Downstairs, you’ll find casual seating with Japanese newspaper clippings plastering the wall on the way to the loos. The laid back atmosphere makes it the perfect place for pretty much anything: casual dates, a quick lunch, weeknight dinners, or somewhere to eat before going out out.
Put Sushi Atelier firmly in your back pocket for when you roll out of Oxford Circus tube, dazed and confused, searching for something real, meaningful, a tad healthy, and delicious. Oh, and by the way, your phone’s in your hand. The aliens put it there.
A smoke-filled dome will arrive at your table. After it’s opened and the smoke escapes, you’re left with razor clam in a whisky jelly sauce. Did it need all the theatrics? Probably not - but it’s fun, and tastes good.
This is definitely the most boring looking dish in this establishment, but they’re also some of the better gyozas we’ve had. Definitely worth ordering if you want something hot.
The fish is slightly seared with some foie gras on top. Like most of the twists on this menu, the foie gras manages to act as an accent to the dish doesn’t overpower the fish.
Sometimes you can tell a lot about a place based on the simplest thing on the menu. With the rainbow roll, you can tell that the sushi rice and the fish they serve here are all very high quality.
Every day the chef comes up with a slightly different selection of pieces and toppings. You can expect great fish topped with anything from truffles, to whiskey jelly, to parmesan. Miraculously, it all works. Starting at £14.80 for 6 pieces and up to £26.80 for 12 pieces, this is may be the best value for omakase of this quality.
Oshizushi is perfectly rectangular sushi rice topped with sushi, and this dish seems like it could go horribly wrong. The BBQ sauce could be overpowering, and the grated cheese doesn’t initially seem like a good idea. But it doesn’t go wrong. In fact it goes very, very right and is one of our favorite things on the menu.