Neighbourhood Japanese – Tsunami Restaurant Clapham.
Tucked away behind Clapham North tube station is Tsunami Restaurant – an unexpected, elegant and charming Japanese restaurant with an extensive menu and authentic Japanese food. I went along to try for myself, pleased to find somewhere that, while not quite on my doorstep, is near enough to be in my neighbourhood.
We started with cocktails. My Geisha, a jasmine gin cocktail with plum sake, grapefruit and lavender essential oil, was delicate, light and well balanced. Tsunami has an innovative range of options. Some are classical mixes with a Japanese twist like the Japanese sazerac which is based on sandal-wood infused Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve and Martell cognac, stirred with homemade Sencha tea syrup and then smoked with wormwood. Others are clearly their own creation like the Venomous Mamushi.
Mamushi is the most dangerous snake in Japan, & is a perfect description for this cocktail, silky & slightly creamy… it is based on Copperhead Black and a drop of poison (80% energitivum) is added to the mix! It is then shaken with a homemade Ceylon tea syrup, (which includes Chinese spices & a hint of lemongrass) peach liqueur, rhubarb bitters & grapefruit juice
I’m not normally a cocktail drinker but I was quite charmed by the offerings at Tsunami.
We agreed to share dishes throughout and ordered Tsunami Grilled Scallops, cooked in a spicy creamy whisky sauce with masago (that stuff that looks like little orange bubbles but is actually fish roe).
Served flaming to the table it was a lovely showstopping start to the meal.
Tsunami mixed tempura was a more conventional dish – a pleasant mix of shrimp and seasonal vegetables in a delicious, light and crisp tempura batter.
We ordered the Luxury Sashimi Selection to share and it arrived in a stunning ice bowl complete with dry ice. All the fish was beautifully fresh and the selection comprised two each of yellowtail, tuna, mackerel, scallops, salmon, sweet shrimp and masago with tobiko (flying fish roe). I have to confess taking a particular liking to the roe dishes – I could easily have eaten more of these
My order of Steamed Sea Bass sounded a little boring on paper. The reality though was excellent and the presentation superb as you can see from the picture below. A neat fillet of seabass was piled onto steamed vegetables and topped with fragrant herbs and spices. Served with a sake, soy and ponzu dressing, this was a delicious light hot dish that I hope I’ll get to order again.
My companion’s seafood toban yaki was a delicious and comforting clay pot full of scallops, prawns, salmon squid and vegetables in yuzu and soy.
This is the sort of dish I want to try because I’d like to recreate it at home.
Along with our meal we enjoyed a premium sake set each. I’d recommend this as the perfect way to try three different sake – we had Shirakabegura Daiginjo, Shirakabegura Junmai Dajingo and Kishanamien Umeshu
To finish things off I enjoyed the Green Tea Chocolate Fondant – which came with a suitably runny green tea and chocolate centre. I did find that the green tea was overwhelmed by the chocolate – but of course, I enjoyed it very much in any case and there was a portion of green tea ice-cream to complement the fondant itself.
My companion’s soy salted caramel banoffee sundae looked incredible and was devoured so quickly I am sure it was.
Teas and coffees to complete an excellent meal
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Tsunami and I will certainly be back. Many thanks to the head chef, who we interrupted, mid-service, for such an excellent evening of food.
5-7 Voltaire Road
Restaurant: 0207 978 1610
Disclosure: We dined as guests of Tsunami Restaurant