Atari Ya

1 Station Parade, Uxbridge Road, London, England, W5 3LD, United Kingdom

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Editor's note: this restaurant closed in 2020.

Atari-ya is the top supplier of fish to Japanese restaurants in London, the fish supplier of choice to Umu, Nobu etc. They have now directly taken over Sushi Hiro in Ealing, which was always an excellent, unassuming sushi venue. Initially they kept the name (and the chefs), but now the restaurant is known as Atariya. This has never been a venue famed for its décor, but it is serviceable enough, with seats around the bar as well as a few plain wooden tables.

Unlike many Japanese restaurants in London, here they stick to what they know: sushi – you will not find tempura or other Japanese food styles here. Eight pieces of sushi was priced at £14, or you could choose individual pieces from £1.20 for mackerel, £1.80 for horse mackerel up to £2.20 for sea eel or turbot. Japanese beer here was just £2.50 for a bottle of either Kirin, Sapporo or Asahi Super Dry.

The rice was warm, as it should be, and the fish was of the high quality that one would expect. I tried both eel and sea eel (anago) and freshwater eel (unagi), and both had soft, melting texture (14/20). Horse-mackerel was also good, having that inherent bite that gives it its name, though this fish (13/20) was not in the league of the versions I have tried in Tokyo. Snow-crab was less interesting for me (12/20), but blue-fin tuna was excellent, with silky texture (14/20). Miso soup was pleasant, though the stock was a little thin in taste (12/20).

Service was friendly, though the solitary waitress was a little distracted at times by other duties; the bill for lunch for one came to just £16.40 before service for eight pieces of very good sushi, plus soup and tea. This is a bargain.

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