There are several different types of sushi restaurant to choose from in London. There are buzzy bento box-style eateries churning out tuna tiger rolls to feed the capital’s hungry workforce, and then there are underground izakayas playing with flavours and helmed by sushi masters, who, after decades of practice, are highly skilled in the Japanese culinary art. The capital is also home to a number of restaurants that have successfully fused flavours from different continents – take Japanese and Italian, for example. There really is something for everyone but the question is: where to start? Read on our guide to finding the best sushi in London.
The Aubrey, Knightsbridge
One of the three award-winning restaurants in the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, The Aubrey is the hotel’s fresh take on a classic Japanese izakaya. The restaurant is inspired by Oscar Wilde’s favourite British artist, Aubrey Beardsley, with original artworks adorning the walls and providing inspiration for the cocktail menu. Accessed behind Japanese cloth curtains, The Aubrey has been decorated in a low-lit, ruby hue accented by fringed lampshades, oriental furnishings and wood-panelled booths.
While sushi isn’t the only culinary fare on the menu, we certainly think it’s one of the best places in London to get your fix. Helmed by Miho Sato – one of the only female sushi masters in the UK – the offering here is playful while remaining respectful to the Japanese art. Expect platters of yellowtail sashimi topped with dead ants (yes, you heard that right), Botan Ebi prawn nigiri, wagyu tartare sashimi served with black garlic and one of Sato’s personal favourites: snow crab and passionfruit maki. Spoilt for choice? Order the signature platter to discover a personalised pick of the best sushi The Aubrey has to offer.
66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA, visit mandarinoriental.com
Sumi, Notting Hill
Looking for an authentic taste of Japan that won’t break the bank? We recommend you head to Sumi on Westbourne Grove. The relaxed younger sibling of the Michelin-starred Endo at the Rotunda (another great sushi choice for those who have cash to splash), Sumi is named after chef Endo Kazutoshi’s mother and offers a refined, polished menu of Japanese classics served in a casual setting.
Made using the freshest and finest quality seasonal ingredients, the sushi menu features a selection of nigiri including lean red tuna, seabass, scallop and salmon roe alongside a delectable Temaki menu. Temaki is a hand-rolled sushi variety and Sumi uses a technique developed by the Kazutoshi family to create a dish consisting of rice, raw fish and vegetables wrapped in a piece of nori seaweed. Pick from diced scallops with shiso flowers and soy, minced fatty tuna with fermented radish and chives, and pickled carrot and mooli radish with avocado and sesame yuzu sauce. Don’t forget to sample from the sake and Japanese whisky list too.
157 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS, visit sushisumi.com
Chotto Matte, Soho and Marylebone
Combining Japanese flavours with Peruvian recipes, Chotto Matte is a prime example of fusion restaurants that successfully honour both cuisines well. The sushi-bar-come-steak-restaurant has two London outposts – Marylebone and Soho – with the latter having just reopened following a refurbishment after 10 years of service in the capital. Inside both restaurants, expect a buzzy vibe while the interiors feature unique lighting fixtures, vibrant artwork and plush velvet booths.
Chotto Matte offers an array of nikkei dishes – that’s South American flavours, such as avocado, pomegranate and aji peppers, prepared with Japanese techniques. We love the tiger roll (flamed eel, avocado and seasoned corn tempura), El Jardín roll featuring sake soy bok choy, shiso, cauliflower and pea purée, and the soft shell crab roll with avocado and tobiko.
While this restaurant’s primary culinary fare is steak, hence the name, don’t knock its sushi offering until you’ve tried it. The new After Hours menu boasts a three-course sharing concept, starting with a show-stopping sushi board, which includes spicy yellowfin tuna maki with crispy onions, avocado and sesame and California rolls featuring snow crab, Japanese mayo, tempura and ginger. This can be perfectly paired with one of STK’s signature 900g cowgirl steaks, a roasted lamb rack and the wagyu picanha.
336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA, visit stksteakhouse.com
Sumosan Twiga, Belgravia
Another fusion restaurant is Sumosan Twiga: the result of a visionary partnership between the award-winning Japanese restaurant, Sumosan, and international hospitality brand Twiga. Making Japanese and Italian cuisine its muse, the restaurant will reopen this month following an extensive renovation to offer a luxury restaurant, bar and club, all blending the beauty of Japanese culture with timeless Italian traditions.
Onto the food, then. The extensive maki menu includes the Buba roll, featuring sea bass with jalapeno, cucumber and wasabi tobiko, as well as Isobe maki with king crab, avocado and sweet soy salmon. Elsewhere, you can pick from Italian or Japanese courses (the menu is helpfully divided as so) including dishes of wagyu tacos, duck gyozas, signature Sumosan salmon tartare and wasabi prawns, alongside plates of truffle risotto, lobster taglioni and tagliatelle alla bolognese. This really is the place where you can enjoy a bit of everything.
165 Sloane Street, SW1X 9QB, visit twigaworld.com
Nobu, across London
For many sushi lovers in the capital, Nobu is their first choice. And luckily, the hotel-restaurant brand boasts three locations in the capital: Shoreditch, Portman Square in Marylebone and Mayfair. The latter is the elder sister of the three and the most iconic, having established itself as a restaurant on London’s Old Park Lane in 1997 serving authentic Japanese cuisine such as bento boxes, donburi and traditional cold dishes including tuna tataki with tosazu, salmon skin salad and crispy rice with spicy toro.
The delectable sushi offering is similar across all three restaurants, serving signature plates of yellowtail sashimi with thinly sliced jalapeño peppers, tuna tempura roll and matsuhisa shrimp. We’d also recommend sampling the Nobu Omakase menu, exclusively available at Old Park Lane, where you can enjoy caviar and avocado nori tacos, sashimi three ways, the Nobu sushi selection, Dover sole red chilli shiso salsa, wagyu hobayaki and finally, the mango and milk chocolate mousse.
Sushi and izakaya restaurant Chuo opened its doors in Shoreditch last month, offering East Londoners ‘quick value quality’ sushi powered by Europe’s first sushi monorail system. Not to be confused with recognisable sushi conveyor belts, all dishes here are made fresh to order and delivered via the sushi monorail to individual seats. The kitchen is led by head chef Armanto Tsatsa, formerly of Miro Mayfair and Lucky Cat, who brings an authentic taste of Japan to Shoreditch with his new menu.
One for the sushi specialists, the sushi menu features gunkan, hosomaki, sashimi, tataki, nigiri futomaki and uramaki rolls available in an array of flavours and fillings, such as soft shell crab, sesame unagi and avocado and ginger. Also make sure to try the signature rolls including the special of hamachi, shake, teriyaki and togarashi and the Green Dragon with ebi, avocado and cucumber.
20 Paul Street, EC2A 4JH, visit chuo.co.uk
Sushi Kanesaka, Mayfair
Another newcomer on the capital’s dining scene is Sushi Kanesaka, which opened in July 2023 in the opulent surroundings of 45 Park Lane. Marking the opening of the first restaurant outside of Asia by heralded omakase chef Shinji Kanesaka – the sushi artisan behind Tokyo’s Sushi Kanesaka, which has retained two Michelin stars since 2018 – the Mayfair outpost is an intimate and traditional 13-seater omakase counter housed behind a discreet doorway, perfect for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle.
Sushi Kanesaka brings the mastery of edomae sushi in its most traditional style, prepared by eight chefs and then paired by sake sommeliers. The tasting menu here features an array of sushi, such as unagi kabayaki hand rolls, negi toro maki and marinated akami alongside dishes of Binchotan grilled kobe beef, Ebifurai of Scottish lobster and Japanese tartar sauce, and Cornish king crab with beluga caviar.
45 Park Lane, W1K 1PN, visit dorchestercollection.com