Dramas and Sushi at Watatsumi

Mimi ON Aug 26, 2011 AT 12:50 pm



By John Gregory Smith

My lunch at Watatsumi started off with a full bomb alert around Trafalgar Square, pre the “1 year till the London Olympics” celebration (which I still have no tickets for by the way) and a flurry of calls from the lovely staff at the restaurant telling me how to navigate round the police tape. Thanks to their heads up I got to the restaurant half an hour early and was given iced water and a bowl of spicy edamame beans (£3.80), which were laden with course sea salt and a wonderfully hot chilli sauce, to nibble on whilst I waited for my mate.

We started lunch off with a huge plate of mixed sashimi (£18.50), which included tuna, salmon, squid, sea bass and clams. I love the fresh clean flavours and slightly chewy texture of sashimi and I was not disappointed by Watatsumi’s selection. We also ordered soft shell crab rolls (£9.00), which my mate pointed out were the best indicator of a good Japanese restaurant; the chefs should be able to create the perfect juxtaposition between just cooked, crispy crab and the soft nutty rice. He was happy, I was happy and we devoured the crab.

Finally we had the beef Bavette, an under-looked cut of beef, which came beautifully cooked and just pink in the middle. The very special piece of meat was served in a dry Hoba leaf with a wonderfully rich, salty miso sauce that lovingly clung all over it. It was fantastic.

The food and impeccable service at Watatsumi made up for the slightly strange “hotel entrance look” and concession-style décor. It’s worth a visit for a quick bite at their “raw bar” or a longer meal in the restaurant.


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