Sushi Say

33 Walm Lane, London, England, NW2 5SH, United Kingdom

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Sushi-Say is in a parade of shops in the somewhat down-market area that is Willesden. The premises have a sushi bar at the front, then conventional seating in a narrow dining room beyond.   The premises are small, seating perhaps 30 or so; booking is essential, as they were turning tables on the weekday night that I visited. The floor is tiled and the tables have no tablecloths, the room decorated with a few Japanese prints on the walls.

There was a short wine list, but it is one of those where they don’t bother to list the vintages of the wine, so don’t get too excited. Why a restaurant would go to the trouble of providing tasting notes for wines yet omitting their vintages is baffling to me (other than the saving on reprinting the list each year). Wines started at £18.60 and included Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Cefiro at £26 for a wine that you can buy in a shop for around £7, Quarry Road Estate Te Kauwhata Pinot Noir at £28 for a wine that retails at around £10 and Chablis St Valentin Domaine Vacoret was £33 for a wine that costs around £14 in the shops. I drank Asahi beer at roughly £2.40 a bottle (I say roughly because the bill had an amount listed for my three beers that was not divisible by three).

The menu was lengthy and covers a range of Japanese cooking styles. I began with some tuna sushi (£2.80 per piece), which had rice at the correct body temperature that had a little wasabi pre-applied, with tuna that was pleasant rather than dazzling in its texture; fish here comes from Billingsgate market rather than from a specialist Japanese supplier (13/20). Tempura prawn (£12.80) had nicely cooked prawns but the batter was rather heavy compared to the superior versions that you find in better tempura joints in Japan (12/20). Grilled eel (£16.60) was served in a lacquer box on a bed of rice, with a soy-based sauce that had blended into the bed of rice beneath. The rice was nicely cooked and I liked the sauce, though the eel itself was not one of the better quality ones I have eaten (just about 13/20). The bill came to £42.30 for one, not excessive nor a real bargain. Service was very good, the staff speaking good English and being both efficient and friendly. Overall Sushi Say was a pleasant place that I would go back to if it was near where I lived, but did not seem interesting enough to make a special journey to.


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