11 Jun 2014


London, UK

Yet another Japanese fusion restaurant has opened in London. Aside from the continually expanding burger scene, new Japanese restaurants and pop ups seem to be dominating the headlines. Upon getting word that an ex-Nobu chef of 15 years has opened a new restaurant in Marylebone, the table for dinner was immediately booked and my imagination ran loose fantasising about what dishes would be served, as Ohisama still does not have a website. Recommended by a friend as having some of the best sushi in London, I can say that my friend’s statement was right on target. Currently operated as a BYOB establishment, Ohisama can go by unnoticed and even seem unappealing from its shop front, with its uninspired interiors and harsh fluorescent lighting. Suffice it to say the ambience will not draw a crowd through its generic glass doors and onto its small sushi bar by the entrance; which is more tolerable that the seating area in the basement that is quite depressing with a tomb-like feeling.  As harsh as the interiors are, one does not go to Ohisama for the scene but to indulge in the food, where all the heart, soul and energy have been poured. The food is exceptional with only a few disappointments; such as the spicy tuna roll, which was less than mediocre; quite frankly surprisingly awful, especially when compared to the spicy tuna roll of Kurobuta. The fried oysters are also not recommendable with an overbearing taste of salt and oozing dollops of oil. Such disappointments however now seem only but a minor infraction in an otherwise delicious meal. The lobster salad was fresh and crunchy, as was the yellow tail sashimi with jalapeƱo. Both are identical to those served in Nobu; it doesn’t take a genius to recognize such signature dishes. The wagyu beef tataki with ponzu sauce is also a winner as it’s seared to perfection with a sauce that makes you want to drink it on its own. The highlights of the meal were the delectable razor clams which I still dream of, the incomparably fresh fatty tuna with a sauce that puts any sauce to shame, which was also featured on the house special roll: the Dr. Watson roll; a heavenly maki of essentially yellowtail. The icing on an otherwise pretty perfect meal was the eel maki with foie gras, which as a roll I feel is a testament to the finesse and creativity of some of the food offered at Ohisama. Despite its unattractive exterior, Ohisama ends up winning you over with its fresh and delicious food. London will soon be hearing more and more of this small outpost in Marylebone, as it wins over one Londoner at a time.

Maki rolls sushi Ohisama

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