London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Liverpool Street

At first glance, there seems to be little to connect Brazil and Japan. The two countries are separated geographically by thousands of miles and huge gulfs in cultural terms too. Japan is a nation of reserved good manners and sumo, while Brazil is often associated with the more extroverted Rio Carnival and samba dancing. However, Brazil is home to the world's largest expatriate Japanese community, and this has led to cultural blurring in some areas, particularly in food.

Sushi and other Japanese cuisine is traditionally light and delicate, while, when we think of Brazilian food, it's usually a Churrasco barbecue with huge slabs of juicy beef, so we were intrigued to visit the new Liverpool Street outpost of sushinho and see how the two could be combined.

sushinho city is the second restaurant of its kind, with the original opening on the King's Road, Chelsea, a few years ago. And with Sushi Samba opening on Bishopsgate last year, London seems to be taking to this new fusion of South America and the Far East.

Our visit began downstairs in the Cutler Bar: a laid-back cocktail bar with a Cuban-style jazz band relaxing the after-work crowd. To build our appetites drank a classic Old Fashioned and a house special entitled Kiwirico; a heady mix of gin, kiwi, lemon and elderflower. Bar snacks of deep fried plantain woke up our taste buds as we waited for our table to be prepared in the upstairs restaurant. Service was charming and attentive without being intrusive; we could have happily stayed in the bar all night. No doubt we will in the near future.

Having taken our seats in the restaurant, we opted to first try a variety of small dishes to get a taste of sushinho's menu. We started with fairly traditional sushi dishes, salmon sashimi and eel nigiri. You won't find any tuna on the menu here. sushinho refuses to have it for reasons of conservation. The highlight of our opening dishes were the sushinho house roll of salmon, crab and cream cheese, served warm in tempura batter. Utterly addictive little bites of heaven. We now fall asleep dreaming of these.

Moving further down the menu, more South American influences became apparent. The scallop ceviche and the butterfish tataki had striking similarities - both served raw and marinated; two methods of preparing fish that are remarkably similar despite being developed thousands of miles apart. The soft, fresh scallops were marinated in citrus juices while the rich butterfish had a slight vinegary taste. Next we had baby octopus tempura, which was hot and crispy and served with a tangy dip, finally concluding with pork belly and crackling, served on pinto and black beans. The thick bean sauce was possibly the most authentic Brazilian dish of the evening, while the rich, fatty pork fell apart under our knife. Plenty of broiled beef and giant barbecued prawns are available for those seeking to add more South American flavour to their evening, but by this point, we were stuffed.

Sometimes, the two least likely elements can come together to make something wonderful. There will be many purists out there who insist that sushi or Churrasco must remain unadulterated, but sushinho has proved that these seemingly unlikely bedfellows make perfect partners. Service here is flawless with all the staff particularly charming and charismatic. The Japanese elements work with the Brazilian elements and the cocktails work with the food. The whole package comes together to be more than the sum of its parts. It shouldn't work, but it really does, and adventurous diners will be rewarded for their open-mindedness.

Devonshire Square, EC2M 4AE 

Average price of main course: £13.50
Average price of cocktail: £9.50
Food and drink: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 4/5


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