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Sushisamba

Perfect For: Wasting Your Time and Money
PHOTOS: Karolina Wiercigroch

Like gravity, and pints of lager when England score, Sushisamba is fine evidence of the rule that ‘what goes up, must come down’. Located on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower, this restaurant is a tall, tall mistake. Possibly Europe’s tallest since Michael Jackson was given a balcony room.

After the lift ride up, you’ll find that Sushisamba is an expert in extremely low blows. The prices are high, but the food quality low. The restaurant heaving, but the atmosphere lacking. The staff plentiful, but the service questionable.

If, like us, you have a casual interest in sadism, then order the ‘Taste of Samba’ menu. This 120-minute endurance test of Peruvian, Brazilian, and Japanese food is a rollercoaster without adrenaline. Basically, nausea and the fear that it will never end. A highlight of this down and down, round and round menu is a plate of sweet potato covered in smoke emulsion, complete with blackened sticks of yuca stuck in it. Looks-wise: ashtray. Taste-wise: gravel mixed with rainbow dust. Unfortunately you can’t ask the legion of staff what’s what here as they’re constantly swapping around. There’s enough of them to fight a war. Well, we say fight, but we mean lose, as they’d probably turn up late to the wrong country.

Sushisamba’s one redeeming feature, the terrace and its view of London, becomes all the more appealing the longer you’re here. Not because it’s the quickest way out - though we have thought about it - but because it’s a rare perspective of London’s breadth. A view that reminds us that there are lots and lots of restaurants out there. Lots and lots of which won’t serve us melted mozzarella on sushi. And thank god for that.

The view, though, is double-sided and double-edged. People are never going to stop coming here because of it. We know that. But when you’re travelling up to London with high expectations, expecting a great meal, it should be known that Sushisamba is only ever going to let you down.

Food Rundown

Yellowtail Taquitos

These are fine. Like a quick lunch running around Westfield fine. Only they’re on an £85 tasting menu. They come with a foam. Which just takes like paprika. In foam form.

Cancha Seviche

Lacking in fish, this quickly becomes an arbitrarily large bowl of corn in a punchy citrus juice. It’s a bit much.

Green Bean Tempura With Truffle Aioli

Totally alright. Tempura is crispy enough. And the aioli is okay if you’re into the overwhelming whiff of truffle oil.

Wagyu Gyoza

If you were absolutely hammered and these turned up, you’d be happy. But if you’re sober, they’ll taste like they’ve been made by someone who was hammered.

Yuca Plantation

Infatuation top tip: never eat something that looks like an ashtray. Ever.

El Topo

A fitting name for the dish, as that’s what you’ll be thinking about doing to yourself. Gooey mozzarella on sushi. No no no.

Nigiri

Quite nice.

Ezo

A decent enough roll.

Heritage Carrots

When we ate these they came, for no reason, prior to the sushi. On their own. Which really made us notice how undercooked and bad they were.

Lamb Chop

Actually alright. Bit of miso on it. It’s nice to pay for something edible, you know?

Moqueca Mista

This is a big old bowl of fish that’s been boiled in cream with a load of rice. The perfect ninth course. Just what the doctor ordered.

Chocolate Banana Cake

Tasted a lot like a Sainsburys microwave hot pudding, and we were quite thankful for that.

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