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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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1040 Abroad

Sumi – Sushi at Home from a real Sushi Master

157 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RS
By Michael M Sandwick
Published on March 3, 2021
www.sushisumi.com

Sumi sushi box

In the early ‘80s I worked in two Japanese restaurants in NYC. They allowed child slavery then. The first was very traditional and I trained to work in the private tatami rooms, kneeling down on the grass mats to serve Japanese businessmen who sat on the floor. The second, much trendier, boasted an enormous sushi bar manned by 4 masters. It takes years to become a sushi master and these men gave me a profound respect for this culinary art form. Sushi is not something I wish to purchase in a supermarket. Sadly, there are no other choices in my hood so lockdown has been sushi prison. Until Friday.

Sumi sushi

Stars above, a delivery from Sumi was my long awaited get-out-of-sushi-jail card. What a joy!

Endo Kazutoshi is a third generation sushi master. Not only did he learn his trade from his grandfather, but he went on to work at El Bulli. What a combination. He opened his first restaurant, Endo at Rotunda in 2019 and earned a Michelin star that same year. Sumi opened in December, just in time for lockdown! So while we all wait for a proper sit-down, the restaurant is offering click and collect or delivery: Thursday to Saturday from 12 to 2 and 5 to 8 pm.

I had the SUMI box (£45) and the premium sashimi (£35). Wow!

The fish is superb quality, responsibly sourced from Spain, Japan, Scotland, France, Germany and the US. It’s all beautifully arranged on banana leaves which are folded to mimic a bento box. The sushi is served Chirashi style with the fish laid on a bed of ginger and sesame rice rather than individual pieces or rolls.

The assortment of fish was stunning. 3 kinds of tuna, marinated and seared, yellowtail, salmon, scallops, sea bream, salmon roe… In the Sumi box, there is also robata grilled salmon with a teriyaki glaze, aonori seaweed and enoki mushroom tempura and rice topped with mushrooms. The soy sauce comes in little glass flasks and both boxes are garnished with wasabi, pickled ginger, cucumber and fresh shiso leaf.

This is a real treat. It is worth the price and, in my case, worth the wait as well!


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