When those of us who have been to Japan come together, the chatter praise dominates of how even a small corner restaurant can have so much finesse in their cooking. Often a bowl of ramen on the street with only 5 seats can be heaven in a bowl, something I still vividly remember today. The sushi counters are busy with loud yet warm greetings of welcome whenever someone enters, each piece is then freshly pressed and carefully presented like a delicacy, the flavour then forms an unbeatable piece of memory. In London, only a few places can bring such fond memories back. For sushi counter, Tetsu at Clerkernwell comes pretty close and you are encouraged to eat sushi with your fingers than chopsticks. The new Shiori, which moved from its original location in Euston is also every bit of Japan that I remember.
The husband and wife team can only serve 5 tables at the same time, sushi and sashimi for lunch, and the full kaiseki for dinner. You can choose the shorter or longer kaiseki, which includes either 8 or 11 courses (approx). Kaiseki is a sequence of small dishes, like a tasting menu including amuse bouche, appertiser, soup, sashimi, sushi, grilled dish, steamed course and other additions the chef wish to include. Unlike French inspired tasting menus, which leaves you feeling heavy and sleepy, the dishes here are small if not tiny and well designed to bring an overall clean balance.
The Shiori feels like a hidden corner of Japan in London, first it’s difficult to notice the restaurant without knowing what you are looking for. The windows are covered so nothing can be seen from outside. Once inside, the compact space is cosy, comfortable and feels somewhat like a traditional Japanese tea room.
I won’t describe every course in the menu because it’s a place you have to come and try to understand how much it resembles food in Japan. The clean, fresh and well balanced dishes made me so thankful to have such a restaurant in London. The high quality sashimi that simply melts in your mouth, the sushi with warm rice, the heavenly wagyu beef sushi, everything was just amazing.
Kaiseki kokoro menu - long tasting menu with 11 courses - £105pp
Black bean with gold leaf
Like sweet red beans.
Herring roe with kagome konbu
Marinated sweet shrimp with fermented rice
Clear soup with Asari clam
I loved the refreshing clam flavours in this soup.
Lobster, chu-toro sashimi
Grilled snow crab with kanimiso
Steamed grated turnips
There were also chunks of fish wrapped inside the turnip mash.
Sea bass & salmon ryuhi konbu
The scallop with truffle was my favourite, didn’t think they could go so well together.
The signature sushi here and must try!
Miso soup with lobster
Black sesame ice cream
Verdict - 5/5
Food (too good) - I loved the whole sequence of the kaiseki menu and can’t say a bad word about any of the dishes. Simply one of the best Japanese restaurants in London.
Service (cosy) - only 5 tables and the husband and wife team delivers everything from cooking to service. It’s a quiet place to enjoy a good dinner and I personally found it rather romantic. Make sure you book before going!
Cost (£130pp) - See photo below
45 Moscow Rd
London, UK W2 4AH
020 7221 9790