Last Updated on February 2, 2020 by Fiona Maclean
Eating sticks, sushi and a few leaves in Soho.
I’ve somehow managed to miss out on Sticks’n’Sushi until recently. And, that, my friend declared, has been a big mistake on my part. Having tried out the new opening in Soho, I’m inclined to agree with her.
For a start, the interior is welcoming with a kind of modern, clean feel that reflects both the company’s Danish origin and the Japanese food. It’s the kind of versatile space where you could meet up with friends, take your kids or even have an informal business meal. There are tables for two, four and for larger groups and there’s a welcoming bar. I’m not totally convinced by the noose-like ropes as you go downstairs to the basement…but hey, this is Soho!
Arriving early I had a good chance to browse through the menu which is presented in the form of an illustrated book with pictures of what you’ll be getting that look both appetising and realistic.
I’d already set my heart on an ‘Extravaganza’ by the time my friend appeared and was happily drinking green tea.
There are a range of set menu options and the Extravaganza is the priciest at £98 for two. But, it does give you the opportunity to a little of everything. If you are not quite so hungry there are set meal suggestions ranging from Mixed Emotions, at £23 to veggie and vegan options and of course, you can order all the dishes separately if something, in particular, takes your fancy.
While we waited, we enjoyed one of the Christmas special cocktails, an Irrashai Bellini with plum wine, yuzu, allspice and prosecco. If we hadn’t been intent on quite such an extensive set menu, I’d have picked up on some of the special dishes, particularly the soft shell maki. As it was, that might just have been a little over-ambitious.
And, once our food arrived, I couldn’t have wanted for any more. Edamame beans are always good to nibble on with a friend, but these arrived with the beef tataki which came with a totazu vinegar and spicy goma dressing and smoked cheese.
And our favourite, the hotate kataifi – scallops with that fine shredded pastry you find in Greek restaurants, miso aioli and trout roe topping.
Next up was a platter of maki; hells kitchen – tempura shrimp with avocado and spicy sauce topped with tuna and barbecue, ceviche – red onion, avocado and cucumber topped with scallops and coriander cress, shake aioli, ebi panko and wagyu maki with wagyu tartare, kizami wasabi and spring onion.
My personal favourite was the wagyu maki which was bursting with flavour and had a lovely mixture of textures. But, there wasn’t one that I’d have turned down.
The next dish served was curiously named ‘Green Fish’. It’s actually a plateful of fish tataki – tuna, salmon and hiramasa, lightly seared on the outside then finely sliced and served with a salad of green leaves, lotus chips and parmesan. The sort of plate I’d probably order by itself for a lunch. If you DID want nothing more, it would set you back £10.80 and would provide a filling and healthy dish for one.
I’d been looking forward to the ‘sticks’ part of our menu – little skewers of meat and fish, carefully seasoned and grilled and served warm. Again, if you fancy something in particular. Sticks range in price from £2.80 to £9.80 for the black cod with miso that was one of the three pairs of sticks we enjoyed.
Each one had a great char and each one was delicious in its own right. I loved the tiny scallops wrapped in bacon with miso herb butter. Beef with chilli dip and teriyaki was the kind of offering I’d happily sit and graze on all night. The classic black cod was treated with respect and perfectly tender, melting and flaky.
‘We need dessert’ my friend confided. Not because we actually needed any more to eat but because she was keen that I learnt more about one of her own favourite places to eat. Dark chocolate with toasted sesame and caramel was her first choice – a dish I thought was a little like mochi, but more chocolatey!
My own pick was the white chocolate mousse topped with raspberry and liquorice foam. My friend was hesitant but it was a brilliant combination of flavours with the liquorice and acidic raspberry cutting through the sweet white chocolate mousse
Finally, another chocolately option, gateau Marcel topped with chocolate pearls
As I’d already learnt from my companion, each dessert is a tiny mouthful of deliciousness. It’s a clever concept that allows diners to treat themselves when they really shouldn’t eat any more without feeling guilty.
I’m sure I will be back for more!
40 Beak St,
Looking for something different? We loved Sussex, the latest restaurant from the Gladwin Brothers. Or, how about Anglo at Trade? It’s a residency at the private members’ club for the hospitality industry and the food looks stunning. There are plenty more review of restaurants in Soho on London-Unattached so do take a look!