Sticks ‘n’ Sushi: Fish in Haute Couture
What happens when you mix Danish and Japanese cuisine? It’s not a question that has often been asked, let alone answered, which is what affords Sticks ‘n’ Sushi its experimental tag.
Reserving a table the week before the father’s arrival was a wise move considering the couple ahead of us is told that the wait is at least half an hour. The lighting is dim, but bright enough to notice the bare brick walls, which make for an earthy ambience. Making our way to the table, it’s evident that tiny exterior is quite deceptive, for the area inside is vast and swarming with London’s most chic.
Menus are studied intently, and it becomes apparent that Hell’s Kitchen is the restaurant’s hallmark sushi dish. The set menu is fitting for the indecisive souls like us, which reads: ‘if you can’t decide, we can.’ While we’re on the topic of sassy messages, my personal favourite is the one printed on the waiters’ t-shirts: Sushi is Fish in Haute Couture.
Second most popular to the sushi plates are *surprise* the sticks. Also referred to as Yakitori, these are grilled skewers with rather enticing combinations that include goat cheese, rib-eye beef. Enough said. After much contemplation we decide on a half-portion of Miso Soup each, the Mini Maki De Luxe Platter and 5 self-picked Yakitori.
The soup is wolfed down, and it does the job, which was to warm us up after a day of walking around in the cold. The salmon lends a little something different, and overall the flavours are on point. But naturally it’s the next two dishes that are highly anticipated.
The Mini Maki De Lux comprises Hell’s Kitchen, Ebi Panko, Shake Aiolo, and Salmon Ceviche. With 8 pieces each, the portions are perfect for satisfying one’s sushi fix without a surfeit.
Each roll is carefully crafted, and more delicious than the next. The balance of being inventive with flavours while keeping the essence of traditional Japanese cuisine intact is maintained, and how!
Hell’s Kitchen, which is possibly my favourite, has a hint of spicy and barbeque sauce, which adds character to the tempura shrimp and tuna. Similarly, the ever-so-subtle coriander and lime marinade enlivens the Salmon ceviche roll, which is stuffed with avocado and red cucumber.
Our sticks follow soon after – there’s Goat Cheese with Dried Ham, Rib-eye Beef with Japanese Barbeque Marinade, Chicken breast topped with chili dip, teriyaki and spring onion, and Miso marinated black cod. A mouthful of meats and flavours indeed!
The Miso Marinated Black Cod is a clear winner, a wondrous recommendation from our waiter, which we luckily added in at the last minute. But this is not to suggest that the rest are sub-par. The chicken is succulent with a spicy-tangy sauce, and the BBQ rib-eye beef goes perfectly with the Japanese flavours.
If I’m playing critic then goat cheese with dried ham is a bit of an oddball amidst a selection of otherwise subtle flavours. But my real quibble is that the ham has a more bacon-like consistency. Of course one can’t go wrong with a generous dollop of warm Goat Cheese in anything. Each one is devoured to the last morsel.
It seems inane to think our appetite could possibly accommodate dessert, but the menu proclaims that each is petite, so we’re sold. The Dark Fondant with chocolate caramel and a peppermint heart, topped with crunchy hazelnut brittle is everything it promises to be. The dark chocolate and caramel perfectly complement each other, making a sinful combination.
The Vanilla crème brulee is slightly less moreish, for the texture and taste of the filling is a bit creamier and sweeter than necessary. On any other occasion, I may have been weary of ordering a French delicacy in a Japanese-Danish joint, but at Sushi n Sticks the prospect of a dish that disappoints seems implausible.
Safe to say that this culinary experience is for the books – or in this case, the blog 😉
Where: 11 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8PY.