Last Updated on December 11, 2021
Super Sushi in King’s Cross at Sushi on Jones
On Pancras Square, facing the Regent’s Canal, Sushi on Jones offers a sushi omakase experience that was intimate, intense, and remarkable in its attention to detail and the quality of the ingredients and preparation. With a London branch opening a few months before the pandemic, Sushi on Jones takes its name from Jones Street in Manhattan where the original restaurant is located. Whilst the American omakase branch (the word meaning literally ‘I’ll leave it up to you’ in Japanese – and is similar to ordering a set menu) is a more hole-in-the-wall type affair, the offering in London is more akin to an evening of fine dining.
A limited number of seats surround a central area in which the chef delicately prepares each piece of sushi for diners. Omakase is considered the most traditional way to eat sushi and twelve individual pieces of sushi are enjoyed across a tight 45 minutes with accompanying sakes and Japanese whiskeys.
Our chef for the evening, Mattia Aranini, was engaging and informative throughout the omakase experience. Training in London sushi restaurants for ten years, we watched the chef grate his own wasabi from a plant imported from Japan and slice the fish for each course with exacting focus and precision. Going to the market each week to source his own ingredients, Mattia had a clear passion for his craft, and it was a delight to share this evening with his expertise as our horizons were broadened and our taste buds exposed to a host of new and bold flavours. I was intrigued to hear from the chef the importance of slicing each fish in the right direction due to the impact the cutting of the protein has on flavour. The fish is prepared in the traditional style and is dried or cured, in some cases for ten days (although salmon is always served fresh) which delivers a deep flavour.
Each course is intended to be eaten in a single bite – no need to add extra soy sauce as the perfect amount has already been added to each piece via the chef’s brush. Across the courses, we enjoyed white fish sliced thin, such as the delicate halibut with lime zest and soy sauce for the first course. Rich flavours were provided by the exquisite yellowtail, aged for ten days, with truffle, with a slight fattiness adding an additional layer to the mouthful. We were first startled by the appearance of a blowtorch to prepare the third course of black bream from Cornwall, but this appliance made a regular appearance throughout the rest of the menu, searing either fish or Wagyu beef to perfection.
A particular highlight was the scallop sushi. A single scallop, imported from the Japanese island of Hokkaido, adorned a bed of rice (expertly prepared by the chef who informed us of the highly exacting standards involved in preparing the perfect sushi rice). The scallop was buttery and melted in the mouth, a hit of wasabi completing this journey of flavour in a single bite.
The wild salmon from Norway was also notable for its incredibly deep red-orange colour and the tuna, from Spain, was tender and soft but we were to learn that this was because different parts of the fish provide different textures and tastes. The following sushi was from the belly of the tuna and was fattier, seared by the blowtorch, and was rich accompanied by the pop of a radish. The salmon eggs sushi was also memorable as a refreshing burst, the eggs marinated in yuzu juice giving a powerful, zesty taste which cleared the palate from the fatty course before.
The pièce de resistance of our omakase meal had to be the finale of A5 grade wagyu, from a meaty and marbled cut, topped with caviar. The taste was as decadent as it was extraordinary, a fitting culmination to a meal that travelled the world in how it sourced its ingredients but stayed close to the culinary traditions of omakase from Japan. The care and attention to detail in creating the omakase menu was apparent not just in the variety of flavours and ingredients, but the curation of the order in which each sushi was served was thoughtful and takes diners on a culinary adventure which is as intriguing as it is delicious. Often described as a ritualistic experience, the omakase on offer at Sushi on Jones is as much an education in sushi and the traditions of Japanese dining as it is just a meal. Come hungry and expect a most remarkable evening of the finest ingredients and culinary excellence.
Sushi on Jones
11 Goods Way
Located in The Courtyard, Goods Way
Wednesday – Sunday
Looking for something in a different part of London? We also love Nobu on Park Lane