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Sep 18, 2008 05:17 AM

London City Sushi suggestions please...

Hiya... I'm looking for a reasonably priced sushi restaurant to take my parents to around the Barbican/City area.
It will be their first ever visit to a sushi restaurant- so it doesn't need to be too fancy just good food and a nice atmosphere for a leisurely mid-week lunch.

Any suggestions would be great as I don't know the area and am a bit of a novice myself!


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  1. Right, a couple of recommendations for you

    Pham Sushi in Whitecross street is a decent midrange bet. Its small, pretty cozy and a stones throw from the Barbican. Be absolutely sure you try the crunchy tuna roll there. It's legendary. They of course do more traditional sushi there too as well as other Japanese dishes. All good value and good quality.

    Also, Saki in Farringdon is a bit trendier but supposed to be excellent. I've never been, but should be good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foreignmuck

      Been reading Chowhound for a while but my first post.

      Moved offices from the West End to the City recently and have been trying out a lot of the sushi places.

      Ribon (Holborn Viaduct) - Popular with Japanese businessmen/women. decor probably needs working on but I suppose this is part of the charm. Food ok. I think the lunches were around £10 - £20.

      Noto (Limeburner lane)- Feels more like a cafe than a restaurant. Nigiri sushi set for just under £10 for 10 pieces. Chirashizushi also just under £10. They have specials on the walls such as Hokkai don which had crabs, salmon other topping (which I can't remember) on rice for £10. Better than Ribon imo.

      Miyama (Knightrider st) - Higher level restaurant compared to the above. Teppanyaki upstairs and restaurants downstairs. I had £25 lunch that included a couple of slices of sashimi so didn't try the sushi but the standard of food is good. Been around a while (also a branch in Mayfair)

      Kurumaya (Watling Ave) - busy at lunch. Kaitenzushi upstairs and restaurant downstairs. Quite good, would go back. Can't remember the price as it was a while back but around £12 - £15 for a sushi set. Probably not "leisurely" though as busy at lunchtime.

      Life (Old street, near Goswell road) - a restaurant/bar/lifestyle shop (?) all in one. they do take aways too. Sushi set was around £18? Modern atmosphere, was empty when I ate there so felt a bit "cold" but the food was good. They bought chefs and bar staff over from Japan and had a big "soft" opening party last year. A few internal problems so real opening was a few months after.

      Itsu (Paternoster sq) - not been. Not really Japanese (more like Yo sushi) but maybe a good introduction to Japanese(ish) food?

      Trying Saki next week. Looking forward to it!

      I have been looking for places that are as good as "Sakanatei" and "Chisou" which were the 2 near my old place of work. Not 100% sure if any of the above are as good but I did like all of the places and would go back.

    2. guess what i had for dinner? crunchy tuna rolls from Pham! it's not fancy. and it's actually not entirely japanese either. (don't quote me, but i think the staff are actually mostly vietnamese.) but it's good. make a reservation. i've been denied before.

      life on old street/goswell rd is okay. but pham is better.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kristainlondon

        YEp. im usually very dubious about non-japanese japanese (im half Japanese myself) but I have always found Pham to be decent.

        1. re: kristainlondon

          I agree - Pham is the best in the Barbican area (although not flash) and the crunchy tuna rolls are the best things on the menu. Skip the miso cod there, its not that great and focus on the actual sushi.

          1. re: Gourmet Chick

            hiya- these answers are all great- I see its sort of unanimous on the choice of Pham Sushi.

            Has anyone tried the set menus mentioned on their website?

            If so which one and are they any good?

            as I think it might be a good idea to get a sample of everything

            1. re: grad08

              I think those set menus are fairly new.
              i've never had them but they look quite good. I had the £15 sushi set once which was good, but you don't get the crunchy tuna roll, which you have to order separately.