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.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Stoke Newington

Personal taste is a curious thing – what one person loves, another may not. Marmite has not so much built a brand on this principle, but almost made it their modus operandi. When reviewing restaurants it’s always important to remember that if you don’t enjoy something, it could just be your individual dislike and doesn’t make it a bad meal. Sometimes though, some concepts, like dessert sushi just seem like bad ideas from the start…

Marmite is a useful analogy when describing Oishiii, Stoke Newington’s vowel-hogging Japanese eatery. Setting our views aside, it is clearly loved by many who filled up the restaurant on a sunny midweek evening, some coming in to collect take-out to take to nearby Clissold Park. It’s relatively inexpensive, which clearly appeals to the young fashionable population of this part of London and certainly fits the bill for a light summer meal.

We tried a selection of dishes as recommended by the house to try and get the most accurate impression of the menu, and it certainly provided some highs and some lows. Some elements were fantastic, others, not so much. Our mixed starter was pleasant enough. The seared salmon salad was filled with thick chunks of tasty sashimi and the chicken katsu futomaki roll was devoured in seconds, while the chikuwa tempura was pleasant but left us baffled. What was the mysterious filling inside the batter? We later discovered it was jellyfish, a new experience for us, but pleasantly surprising.

Next we shared between our group four main courses. A mixed bag, to say the least. The two positives were the chicken dumpling noodle soup – very tasty and the highlight of the meal, and the prawn and veg tempura with rice - giant prawns in crispy batter. You can’t say fairer than that. The tofu in our bento box however was flabby and unappealing, with little taste and a void of texture. Tofu, when seasoned properly, is a real delicacy, but ours was entirely bland. The salmon uramaki was also disappointing; the subtle fish flavour was overwhelmed in a thick shroud of cream cheese.

Dessert followed, and so with it came more highs and lows. The red bean pancakes were pleasant but could have benefited from being a lot sweeter and the sweet uramaki was far from enjoyable – fruit and more cream cheese wrapped in seaweed and rice. This was heavy and totally imbalanced with flavours. This is one to miss.

Despite our few bad experiences, Oishiii is clearly doing something right judging by the turnover of customers, so perhaps next time we should join the local hipsters, order our time-honoured favourites and enjoy the picturesque local scenery. Apparently ‘Oishiii’ literally translates as ‘delicious’. The jury is out.

67 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AR

Average price of main course: £8
Average price of glass of wine: £4
Food/drink: 2.5/5
Service: 3/5
Value: 5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment