There is something irresistible about good sushi. Maybe it’s the purity of the ingredients with very little space to hide when you are placing fresh fish on a rectangular piece of rice, plus a dab of wasabi and soy sauce. Given the relative newness of the cuisine to England (I still remember being blown away by the conveyor belt Yo Sushi in London Bridge in ’99) we have embraced it wholeheartedly in everything from fine dining to all-you-can-eat buffets. I’m by no means a serious aficionado but I know what I like and the ingredients are what shines forth for me.
During a quiet birthday night in I decided it had to be sushi for dinner, and handily a new restaurant had just opened in the area, Kami. It has taken over from a previous Japanese restaurant at the same premises, Satuma, which I had eaten at once and thought was decent enough. The menu of Kami looked good and the KentishTowner seemed pretty impressed so I was ready to order. It arrived promptly in 30 minutes and was a (just about) reasonable £33 for plenty for 2 people.
First up, some gyoza since I can never resist. They had a plump, juicy filling of chicken and vegetables. The dough had a good bite with just enough chew, and one side grilled for colour and texture. Very good so far.
Next was the “Sushi Set B”. The nigiri and sashimi were very nicely presented, and the nigiri in particular were generous with their rounded fish slice completely engulfing the rice. I tried the Inari nigiri first, sweet tofu wrapped around rice. Wow, certainly very sweet but I really liked it as something slightly different, my best description is it was the sushi version of French toast with maple syrup if that helps. The tuna and salmon nigiri were both excellent, the rice had a nice sticky texture to complement the well cut fish, along with a dab of wasabi underneath. And the sashimi was even better, the fatty soft texture of the marbled salmon being one of my top sushi bites ever (barring perhaps Yashin).
California maki came rolled in tiny flying fish roe which I always like, with its salty fish pop when you manage to bite into one of the slippery little things. They had a decent amount of avocado and crabstick and were well put together. The spicy tuna maki similarly were good although I would have preferred more spice and they had been a bit damaged in transit (or the making of them missed the mark). Good solid favourites though.
The final piece was the dragon roll, which looked spectacular with its dragon scales exterior (eel flesh and avocado) plus a crunchy filling of prawn tempura and Tobiko (more flying fish roe I discovered). Texturally this was a triumph, the crunchy tempura and roe with sticky rice and soft meaty eel and avocado. And the taste was even better, sweet prawn and unctuous sweet eel were delicious together. A great dish for sure, and lots of skill involved for the £5 it cost, I wish I’d ordered two.
It was a very enjoyable meal with some spectacular sashimi, good solid staples and stunning special rolls to elevate it further. I’ll definitely be visiting at some point and trying the Omakase to see how eating in compares.