Sushi cravings aren’t something that should be taken lightly. Unlike your need for chocolate cake which can be satisfied by eating a mini roll with your eyes closed, when you start seeing fatty tuna and seared salmon belly in your sleep, there’s really no option but to get some sushi in your system. And when that time inevitably comes, this list of London restaurants will point you in the direction. From affordable tempura maki, to an 18-course omakase that will probably change your life - it’s all here.
If you’re near Great Portland Street - or even if you’re not - you should eat the sushi at this Fitzrovia spot. It’s got what we like to call the holy grail of sushi: high-quality, affordable, and exciting. The sushi and sashimi are solid, and though the toppings can get a little theatrical, it doesn’t take away from the quality. The omakase starts from £14.80 for 6 pieces, making it some of the best value sushi of this quality that you’ll get in London.
This sleek Japanese restaurant in St James’s has high ceilings, bamboo architecture, and a spicy maguro maki that gives us butterflies. In terms of quality and presentation, it’s got it all. So if you’re looking to impress a date, a client, or the person who gave you life, you can do that here. We’d recommend going for a bento box, or the ‘maki selection’ for the best value. And we know you’re here for the sushi, but you’re going to want to get involved with the ebi tempura too. Trust us.
Sake No Hana is temporarily closed for dine-in, but you can get their sushi delivered here
“You just can’t get good sushi in London without paying a fortune,” you say, whilst eating your third free tester from the Waitrose sushi counter. Oh ye of little faith. We’d like to introduce you to Pham Sushi, a certified mid-price point Japanese restaurant that serves really great sushi. We’re talking under a fiver for two pieces of salmon sashimi or £18 for their deluxe 16-piece sushi set. The space is very City slick with Japanese touches and you pretty much can’t go wrong with a date night dinner here.
At Ikeda there’s a personal note from Paul Simon by the toilets. There’s one from Steven Spielberg (and other celebrities) too. Fergus Henderson says it’s one of his favourite restaurants in London. But those aren’t reasons to go to this old school Japanese spot in Mayfair. The sushi and sashimi is. Ikeda’s supreme assortments are just that. Each one comes with a mix of fatty to very fatty tuna, yellowtail, octopus, and more. It’s delicious, high-quality fish that melts away until you’re mourning it. And, importantly, the rice is also perfect. Warm and with a touch of vinegar, you’ll want to get a hand roll packed with the stuff. It’s worth knowing that Ikeda is expensive. But, it’s also very worthwhile.
If you’re a sushi purist then you may want to skip ahead or be prepared to get some strong feelings and Arthur-clenched-fists when you see things like sushi topped with barbecue sauce. But bear with us. Because the maki rolls at this Japanese/Danish influenced spot in Covent Garden are fresh and exciting. All the makis are solid, but we’d go for that barbecue sauce number, AKA Hell’s Kitchen, as well as ebi panko, and spicy tuna. And some extra spicy mayo for good measure.
How long has it been since you’ve been fed? No, we don’t mean since you’ve last eaten. We mean been fed. Well at this eighth floor 16-seat omakase restaurant in White City, you will be hand-fed. Well, hand-to-hand fed. And you will savour every bite. Not just because Endo (the head chef) is stood in front of you peering into your soul after placing fatty tuna wrapped in nori in the palm of your hand, but because the food is excellent. Whether you opt for the eight or ten-course omakase lunch or the £180 18-course dinner, it will be worth it, because this is probably the best sushi experience you can get in London.
We all love Kensington. The museums, Hyde Park, that pretty street that you aren’t allowed to take pictures of. But we’ve got another reason for you to love it: Yashin Sushi. Why does this restaurant deserve your precious love? Because it’s serving some excellent and creative sushi using high-quality fish topped with things like yuzu salt, edible flowers, parmesan, truffle, and sun-dried tomatoes.
You could walk past this tiny spot on Merton Road five times before realising that this low-key restaurant is home to some of the best sushi you can get in SW London. It’s a small restaurant with an intimate feel, and a menu of nigiri, sashimi, maki, and small plates. The fish is excellent, and the spicy tuna and shrimp tempura maki are some of the best we’ve had in London. They’re currently operating a takeaway system where you can order and pay via phone before collecting, making it the perfect place to order some nigiri and a few maki rolls for a big night in.
This popular walk-in only restaurant does the usual sushi, sashimi, temaki, and maki rolls. They serve lunch time sushi sets all under £8. But the dim lighting and horigotatsu (sunken) seating make it more of a fun weekday date night situation, and the perfect place to eat some decent, affordable sushi in central. And whilst the Dozo rolls can be quite fun, we’d opt for the soft shell crab and ebi tempura maki rolls instead.
Kurumaya is one of those restaurants that makes you feel like you’ve just been let in on a juicy little secret. Why? Because you could walk past this tiny sushi bar 50 times without realising it’s there. It’s just a five minute walk from the Barbican, and of all the Japanese classics they serve, we’d definitely recommend getting involved in some of their katsu curry as well as the temaki sushi set. The dishes here tend to fall into the ‘very nice’ category - none of it will make you scream “I will name my firstborn after this nigiri!” - but when you’re in the mood for some affordable maki it’s just the place. By the way, they do takeaway too.
Although this spot is just off Oxford Street, it’s not the kind of place you head to after a long day of shopping. This Japanese restaurant and terrace bar is more the kind of place you plan your visit around. Their à la carte menu has a selection of sashimi, platters, and maki rolls. And although you can’t go wrong with any of the sushi here, there are some that are more memorable than others. The tuna and spicy tabiko, soft-shell crab tempura, and prawn tempura and scallop are all excellent. And for £18 a roll, you’re going to want to remember it.
You remember Yashin Sushi? Yeah, well meet sister restaurant, Yashin Ocean House. It’s bigger, with a longer menu, and with some newer things on that menu, like lobster sitting over dry ice, and candy floss over wagyu beef. But you’re here for the sushi, and the same high-quality sushi with interesting toppings like truffle or caviar makes it a great spot for a group meal or a fun sushi date.
This tiny sushi counter in Clerkenwell only seats seven guests at a time which makes it somewhat difficult to get a reservation. But that shouldn’t stop you, because it’s well worth the effort. There are two seatings every night and the sushi is made by a single chef behind the counter. All you really need to know is that the fish is never less than outstanding, and everything, from the yellowtail sushi, to extravagant pieces of king crab is excellent and well worth the £95 price tag.
Sushi Tetsu is temporarily closed, but they are offering collection via their email email@example.com
Our second favourite thing to do in Knightsbridge, after leaving Harrods empty handed, is visiting this little Japanese spot on Beauchamp Place where you can get some seriously good sushi. The menu also has a range of Japanese classics, from tempura, to udon noodles, and a signature baby spinach and spicy prawn salad which you should definitely get involved in. The inside out rolls are all excellent, as are the Chisou rolls, and if you’re struggling to choose just know that the soft shell crab and hot sake maki should 100% be on your table. As can be expected from the location, it’s not cheap, but come in a small group, order a bunch of sushi rolls, some noodles, and that salad, and you can leave just £30 lighter.
Sometimes eating sushi is about spending three gleeful hours shedding tears over a perfect piece of sashimi. And sometimes it’s about grabbing some quickfire, affordable maki in under ten minutes. Bento Ramen falls into the latter. This go-go-go Camden spot does a bit of everything, but you’re here for their sushi platters. Go for the simple crab and avocado rainbow rolls, and the crunchy tempura-packed golden tiger maki is worth a try if you’re after something a bit different.
If low-key, quick-in-quick-out sushi is what you’re after, you’ll be hard pressed to find better quality sushi in this part of Central than Ohisama’s. This utilitarian spot has tables downstairs, but upstairs is almost entirely counter seating, and that’s where you want to be. If you go for one of the excellent omakase options, dinner will easily end up costing you £70 or more, but we tend to go for one of the lower priced sushi or sashimi sets which should be more than enough if you’re not quite up for making a night of it.