Sakushi lunch

September 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Restaurants | Leave a comment
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I feel like maybe I should just go ahead and create a dedicated ‘Sushi’ section on this blog, considering how often I post about sushi in general, and Sakushi in particular.

Just in case it isn’t already blatantly obvious, Sakushi is one of my favourite places to eat in the whole of Sheffield. This Campo Lane restaurant serves fantastic sushi, sashimi and other Japanese treats, is conveniently located in the city center, and has a conveyer belt of sushi. All of these things make it the perfect place to grab a speedy lunch during the working week.

But when I visited Sakushi last week it wasn’t to grab a quick bite during my lunch break, it was for a long and lazy lunch with friends (i.e the good kind of lunch). We ended up ordering a mixture of different sushi, sashimi and cooked food and then just shared everything, so I got to try a few things I’d never ordered from Sakushi before.

I even tried a new drink!

jasmine tea

Sakushi’s jasmine tea is very light and refreshing, and is served in a very traditional-looking teapot with matching tea bowls. Sipping fragrant herbal tea out of a Japanese tea bowl just felt more fun and authentic, as opposed to the glass of vino or pint of cola I usually wash my sushi down with. I’ll definitely be taking my Sakushi sushi with a bowl of jasmine tea from now on!

Sakushi’s menu features the disclaimer that your food will come out as and when it’s ready, rather than as the defined starters, mains and sides you’d normally expect in a restaurant. Due to this policy, our dining experience was a bit random so I’m just going to run through the food as it came out of the kitchen. 

First up was the miso soup.

miso soup

Sakushi’s miso soup (£2.50) has a strong, salty, almost stock-like flavour and contains a decent amount of seaweed and spring onions, as well as a few teeny weeny cubes of tofu.

Although the bowl was a bit on the small side, Sakushi do offer unlimited refills so if you’re left craving more miso, all you need to do is ask for a refill. Considering this soup only costs £2.50, this is good value for money.

Although I did get to try lots of new things from Sakushi’s menu, a few old favourites did make an appearance, because I don’t think I can physically set foot in Sakushi anymore without ordering a Chirashi-Don (£13.45).

chirashi don

Sakushi’s chirashi-don is a big bowl of sushi rice topped with slices of sashimi and colourful fish roe. It’s my favourite thing to order from Sakushi, as I love sashimi but feel like slices of raw fish just isn’t a filling meal. I love how the chirashi-don combines sashimi with a massive portion of sticky, filling sushi rice.

I’ve eaten more chirashi-dons than I care to count and have never been disappointed, and this chirashi-don was no different. I particularly loved the raw salmon, which had a really buttery, melt-in-the-mouth consistency I hadn’t encountered with raw salmon before.

Another dish I’ve enjoyed many times before, is the Sakura Sashimi platter (£16.95 for 16 pieces). This is a platter of tuna, salmon, seabass, ika/squid, tako/octopus and hokkigai/surf clam sashimi.

sashimi platter

Since we were going all out, we ordered two sashimi platters to share. Both platters looked incredible.

sashimi platter 2

I love the thick wedges of salmon and tuna that come with this platter, although I’m not a massive fan of the tako, as I always find boiled octopus chewy and bland. But even with the boiled octopus, this makes a great sharing platter for a group of people, or a seriously indulgent meal for one.

Of course, no trip to Sakushi would be complete without sushi – lots and lots of sushi!

Sakushi serve their sushi as small plates containing two pieces of your chosen sushi, which range in price from £2.00 to £4.00. You can either order sushi from the menu, or if you like the look of something on the conveyor belt, you can just grab it as it sails past your table.

The first sushi plate of the afternoon was some Spicy Tuna Gunkan (£4.00).

spicy tuna gunkan

This gunkan consists of diced sashimi generously flavoured with shichimi. According to Google shichimi is a traditional Japanese spice mix made from 7 ingredients, which explains why the tuna gunkan has such a complex heat.

Shichimi is a hot spice, but it isn’t just hot for the sake of inflicting pain, it also adds a unique flavour and depth to the tuna gunkan (while also inflicting a little pain). The earthiness of the tuna and the deep, dark and satisfying heat of the shichimi is a winning combination.

Shichimi also makes an appearance in the Spicy Sake Gunkan (£3.00).

spicy salmon gunkan

This gunkan is made from raw salmon rather than tuna, and the lighter, brighter flavour of the raw salmon works with the shichimi spices in a completely different, but still very tasty way.

The third and final gunkan of the afternoon was Fresh Crab Gunkan (£3.00).

fresh crab gunkan

This gunkan is completely different to the shichimi-spiked salmon and tuna, as it’s made from light, fresh shredded crab meat and cooling mayo. While mayo may not be the most traditional sushi ingredient, it does add a creaminess that works really well with the fresh crab.

Also winging its way to our table was some Unagi Nigiri (£4.00).

unagi nigiri

This grilled eel sushi has a very distinctive flavour that you’ll either love or hate. Personally, I’m not a fan of this one!

Another plate, another kind of sushi. This time it was Sakushi’s own maki roll.

sakushi roll

This Sakushi Roll (£4.00) is less opinion-dividing than the eel sushi and much nicer to look at. Each roll is made from a combination of crunchy tempura prawn and melt-in-the-mouth avocado, wrapped in the obligatory rice and seaweed, and topped with a generous piece of raw salmon.

I love all the different flavours and textures that are going on in these rolls, and the sashimi topping gives the Sakushi Roll a burst of that intensely fishy flavour you can only get from sashimi. Plus, these rolls look fantastic.

Not quite so easy-on-the-eyes was the Ebi Tempura Inari (£4.00).

ebi tempura inari

Personally I find this one of the stranger types of sushi on Sakushi’s menu. When you order the Ebi Tempura Inari, you get two parcels of sweet, marinated tofu filled with rice and tempura prawns.

I’ve tried Sakushi’s Ebi Tempura Inari before and I’m simply not a fan (in my mind, tofu is savoury and the concept of sweet tofu is just plain wrong) so I knew to give this one a wide berth. However, a few people at the table did try some of the sweet tofu, and one of them enjoyed it so much they said they’d order it again.

Now, the main misconception surrounding Japanese restaurants like Sakushi, is that it’s all raw fish and seafood. True, Sakushi do serve fantastic sashimi, but they also offer a selection of cooked mains and meat dishes too. A few people at the table weren’t massive sushi fans, so they decided to order a couple of Sakushi’s cooked mains.

First up was the Peppered Ika (£5.25).

peppered ika

This peppered squid was perfectly cooked, and covered in a light and crumbly, almost tempura-like batter that was seasoned with lots and lots of black pepper. Even though I love my sushi and sashimi, the peppered ika was so good that I might end up ordering it for myself at some point.

Next up, was Tori-karage (£5.25). Despite the exotic-sounding name, this is actually Sakushi’s take on breaded chicken.

Tori-karage

The chicken was very tender and expertly cooked, and came with a lemon wedge and accompanying mayo dip, both of which worked really well with the Tori-karage.

While I wouldn’t order this for myself, the chicken did get a big thumb’s up from my non-seafood-loving friend, so it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re eating out with someone who isn’t wild about fish and seafood.

Thus concluded our Sakushi sharing experience. I love Sakushi and have eaten there many times before, but recently I’ve fallen into the bad habit of ordering the same thing everytime, so it was nice to try lots of different things, including one or two dishes I wouldn’t normally order.

From the slices of fresh sashimi to the breaded chicken with mayo, everything was nicely cooked, fresh and tasty. Even if I wasn’t keen on a few things (like the sweet tofu parcels) other people at the table enjoyed them.

Sakushi is still one of my favourite places to eat in the whole of Sheffield, and based on my latest trip I can’t see this changing anytime soon!

four-stars

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Edo Sushi

May 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Takeaway | 1 Comment
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Tucked out of sight on High Court Chambers (just next to Pizza Hut on Sheffield High Street) Edo Sushi specializes in sushi, sashimi and assorted cooked Japanese dishes to take away. Although off the main road, it draws a devoted lunchtime crowd. If you’re planning to pick up their lunchtime special ‘Edo Sushi Box,’ make sure you’re there at the start of the lunch hour. The staff make up some boxes in advance, but they always sell out fast. Thankfully, if you’re slow off the mark the helpful staff are more than happy to put together your box as you wait – you can’t get any fresher than that! Usually priced at £5.50, nab one of these boxes during your lunch break and the staff not only knock £1 off, but they throw in either a miso soup or a green tea, to boot.

As you’ve probably already guessed, it was Edo Sushi Boxes that had us shooting out of the office at 12 noon on the dot this week. Getting there early meant we plucked our boxes straight off the shelf.

For a takeout meal, Edo Sushi Boxes are smartly presented and come with pickled ginger and soy sauce on the side. The specials change on a monthly basis, but there are some familiar faces that keep cropping up. Expect to see plenty of shinko maki, a veggie sushi roll made from tangy pickled radish, and kappa maki, the cucumber-filled equivalent. Creamy avocado and salmon-filled california rolls are also a staple. The Edo Sushi Box is finished off with one larger item, usually either inari zushi, or if you’re lucky one of their mouth-watering salmon nigiris.

The staff at Edo Sushi are friendly and efficient; even if they have to knock up your lunchtime sushi fix from scratch you’ll rarely be waiting longer than ten minutes. The takeaway itself is pokey; you’ll find yourself awkwardly squeezing around other customers during the lunchtime rush, but this is all part of Edo Sushi’s charm. There’s plenty of personal touches that’ll have you warming to the place in no time, including greeting cards hand-drawn by the staff and a cheerful note telling you to put your money in their lucky cat moneybox if you want to buy a card. The eagle-eyed will also notice a painting by Sheffield’s own Wildago hanging on the wall.

But ultimately, it’s all about the sushi! Our Edo Sushi Boxes were made up of shinko maki, kappa maki, california rolls and a wedge of inari zushi. Edo Sushi do have a tendency to skimp on the fish (5 pieces of our sushi were just cucumber and pickled radish rolls) but at £4.50, this is understandable.

The inari zushi will divide opinions. Personally, the combination of sweet tofu and savoury rice wasn’t to my liking, and I ended up peeling off the batter and just eating the plain rice. But other members of the Sheffield Eats team raved about it, and the tofu was certainly perfectly cooked, forming a light skin around the rice.

While you’ll either love or hate the inari zushi, sushi lovers are guaranteed to wolf down the california rolls. Our boxes contained six helpings of california rolls, which were crammed with melt-in-the-mouth avocado and fresh, raw salmon. It’s worth shelling out on the box just for these six mouthfuls of sharp sashimi and smooth avocado alone! Delicious, and surely some of the freshest sashimi you’ll ever pluck off a shelf during your lunch break.

The meal was topped off with a complimentary miso soup. Although it may look like a murky cup-a-soup in a polystyrene cup, it’s not to be missed.

This lip-smackingly salty soup has hidden layers of seaweed and crispy spring onion, and is the perfect accompaniment to sushi.

The next time you’re craving a lunchtime sushi fix, do yourself a favour and track down this takeout sushi haven. It’s cheaper, fresher and far, far tastier than any of the prepackaged stuff you’ll find in the big stores in town.

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