Sell your children, your dog, your spouse - do what you've got to do to get a table at Sushi Tetsu. I feel like I'm now a member of a very exclusive club, those lucky 7 at a time who get to taste the best sushi in London.
This tiny un-presuming restaurant just off St John Square (Clerkenwell Road) has been dubbed one of the best Japanese restaurants in London, perhaps further. having read a number of gleaming reviews on the food it was a delicious surprise when my expectations weren't completely shattered to smithereens.
Regular readers will know Sushi is one of, if not my favourite foods. I could literally have it for every meal. Getting a table at Sushi Tetsu however was no mean feat, despite working within spitting distance. We had basically become their bitch - saying we would fill any cancellations on a moments notice for lunch or dinner, 1 seat or all 7.
On one nondescript Tuesday we received the beckon call...three people had cancelled for the very next day. We were in. The menu is almost set by how long you have. The best thing to do is go with the chefs choice on the day. the fish is selected from an exclusive Japanese fish monger who will not sell the impeccable fish to any Tom, Dick or harry. if you don't know what you're doing, it's a waste. luckily our expert chef had picked the freshest most tender delicious catches of the day.
We opted for the 'Moon' menu which takes an hour and a half. As I mentioned, you do not know what this entails until it is freshly prepared and placed in front of you. One thing I didn't realise is that each piece is lovingly and expertly prepared one at a time - for each party (in our case there were three, us and two other parties of two. The restaurant only seats seven people at a time at the bar overlooking the cooking).
Now, there's a joke that I really like (unsure if it comes off in text so bare with me). "I really want to try that new Italian restaurant that's opened. It must be good because it was full of Japanese people". Now the benchmark for a good local cuisine restaurant? local clientele. And we had those. Score 1 for Sushi Tetsu.
|Great to see others taking photos of their food!|
As we waited with breath that is baited for the first delight - we were informed that we would not be needing soy sauce, that we would be eating what was given to us in one bite; finally wash your hands because we wouldn't be needing chopsticks. This was an authentic experience.
One final surprise to me was the good 10-15 minutes between each piece of carefully crafted Sushi. As someone who isn't shy when it comes to portions this was both completing satisfying, teasing and frustrating! Sushi this good needs to be eaten in droves!
Now, in my opinion not enough food is blow torched live...
|We were allowed Soy Sauce and Chopsticks for the last serving|
The final of our singular pieces was actually 6 pieces, of Norimaki - or the small seaweed wrapped delights. Two razor clam, two tuna and two salmon. The tuna, in both the nigiri and the maki was my favourite. I've never had tuna melt in the mouth before. The only way to describe it is so so smooth. It was heaven.
The blow torched butterflied prawns were the other highlight. Absolutely divine. I could have eaten them both over and over again.
Definitely the best idea to go for the chef's choice, you simply wouldn't know what to order otherwise, and it's great to get out of your comfort zone rather than go for everything you would normally choose. Booking for Sushi Tetsu opens on the first of each month for the two months in the future - for example on the 1st March booking opened for May. It also sold out within 1.5 hours...Your best chance of getting in? Go in (the phones are understandably seldom answered.)
Ask to be put on the waiting list for cancellations. For somewhere so incredibly popular I'm amazed they don't take credit card details and charge for cancellations, but they don't, so you do get quite a few for lunch. Shh don't tell anyone else!
Atmosphere: 4/5, incredibly friendly and authentic (so I'm told...)
Food: 5/5 incredible sushi
Drink: 3/5, we only had green tea
Overall: 4/5 fantastic sushi