170-172 Hammersmith Road, London, United Kingdom

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Suzu, which means “happy days”, opened in 2009 in a parade tucked between the offices on Hammersmith Road. Its owner Makikoi Sano offers sushi classes and previously ran the sashimi counter at Selfridges after working as a private chef. The dining room is a simple affair, with wooden floor and a selection of sake displayed behind the counter.

The fish comes from Atari-ya, who supply many of the top restaurants in London, though I have observed that the quality from them definitely varies: I imagine that the likes of Nobu and Umu get first pick of the produce. For reasons that elude me the restaurant describes itself as serving “Japanese tapas”, when it actually just serves the things you would see on a regular Japanese menu. Surely Japanese cuisine is established enough that it does not need embellishing with the term “tapas”?

Nigiri of mackerel had quite good flavour (12/20) but the eel seemed a little flabby (11/20) and tuna nigiri was also distinctly uninspired, just lacking in flavour (11/20). I was disappointed that the rice was not at the correct tempetarture. Sushi rice in Japan is always served at between body and room temperature, but here it was cold, which seems like a pretty basic error for a place specialising in sushi. I noticed that the chef/owner was actually out front chatting to some friends, and the chef today (Peter) perhaps could have done with more supervision, as I can’t imagine a proper sushi chef serving cold rice.  Tempura prawn was decent enough, but the batter was rather heavy (11/20).

The bill, with just soft drinks came to £21.65 at lunch. This is not very much, but then the food was nothing special either. Service was charming and certainly the place seemed popular with the locals, but it is not somewhere to which I would rush back.

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