Posted by: mikeydude | November 6, 2009

Sushi Hiro London Ealing Restaurant Review (7.5/10)

After another weekend in London attending the second of my courses in preparation for my impending exam I decided to stop in Ealing on the way home to Wales for another Japanese meal. A couple of weeks previously I had eaten at the impressive Kiraku with my Mrs and father-in-law (review here). In that review I mentioned that Ealing was known to boast 2 of London’s top Japanese restaurants. Sushi-Hiro is the 2nd of them, renowned to have daily fresh supplies of fish to serve its customers. However it should also be pointed out at this early stage that it is a restaurant that solely specialises in sushi. By that I mean sashimi, sushi, and miso soup. Do not come here looking for tempura, noodles, teppanyaki and all the other cooked Japanese specialties. I was really looking forward to this.

The outside of the restaurant is no big deal… nor is the inside. It looks a bit like a dentists waiting room. Nevertheless there’s the option of sitting around the sushi bar and watching the sushi chefs work their magic. I was greeted warmly by 2 waitresses who led us to our table quickly. Note that this place is CASH only.

outside

Tables are very small and the place was packed out even for a Sunday night. I spent the first few minutes watching the sushi chefs at work whilst the Mrs was browsing through the menu.

sushi counter

Appetisers was in the form of edamame pods. They tasted nice enough but nothing special.

pea pods

For drinks I ordered a Kirin Beer whilst the boss had green tea (unlimited refill might I add). I must say that the food that followed was the most spectacular sushi I’d ever had in my life.

Mixed Nigiri Set

nigiri set 1

nigiri set 2

This plate of nigiri was about £20 if my memory serves me right. Shamefully I cannot name some of the different types of fish, but will attempt to do so. I shall start top left and work in a ‘snakes and ladders’ order to finally reach bottom right: Ginger, Salmon Roe, ?Crab (cooked), Unagi (cooked eel), Sea-bass (?), Clam, Mackerel, Scallop, Prawns, ?Red-snapper, ?Cod, Salmon, no idea, and Toro. Any reader that can identify the queries and unknowns would be great! 🙂

Anyway I enjoyed these a LOT! I’m not the biggest fan of raw prawns, but except for that these were little mouthfuls of delight. The fish was of the freshest I’ve ever eaten, and trust me I would have spat it out if there was any fishiness in there. My usual favourites of unagi, salmon and toro were there. Of special mention though was the scallop and clam, which was so sweet in taste that I couldn’t believe it was sea-food. There were small bits of wasami holding the nigiri together which gave it some punch. Inhale slowly as you eat this dish!

Mixed Assortment of Sashimi

mixed sashimi

This was £15 and consisted of the sushi chef’s mixed assortment for that day. From left to right; mackerel, toro, prawns, scallop, and ?Sea-bass all sitting on a bed of daikon (white radish). We calculated that ordering this mystery platter ended up better value than individually ordering the sashimi which are ordered by the piece (!). Anyway again the fish was extraordinarily fresh! I was surprised by the mackerel; a fish I’m not usually that keen on. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten mackerel that fresh before. It’s usually a very oily and fishy dish and so I didn’t expect the sashimi to taste that nice. It was delicious… the oilyness of the fish was only mild and the strong mackerel flavour was a welcoming change from the other tastes available. The toro was silk smooth as expected but the star of the show that I must reserve special praise for is again the scallop. My goodness I have never tasted a scallop so fresh and sweet as this. Each piece was a plump morsel of sea freshness embodied by a delightful sweet taste that made me struggle to chew it slowly and enjoy every bite. The ?sea-bass was also very good but underwhelming in comparison to the other offerings.

Inari-zushi

sweet tofu rice

Last time I ate one of these was when my friend made it for my housewarming party about a year ago now. This one tasted much better of course (sorry Teresa!) although I’ve never been that keen a fan of inari-zushi. It comprises a almost spring-roll shaped piece of deep fried tofu which acts as a container for the sushi rice inside. I had one mouthful and the boss finished the rest once more demonstating her love for sweet tastes.

At this point I would have been happy to leave… but could not resist to order more thinking of not knowing when would be the next time I would be able to eat such high-grade sushi.

Chirashi Deluxe

Chirashi bowl

This is interesting. Never had chirashi served to me like this before. A nice ornimental bowl which was boxed made its way to my table. It revealed this:

Chirashi deluxe

Chirashi is a bowl of japanese rice topped with various helpings of sashimi, sweet egg, salmon roe, daikon and ginger slices. I have never eaten one which contained such high grade sashimi before but then for £16 it’s the least I would expect I guess 🙂

Anyway the addition of the sweet egg was a nice change to the mountains of sashimi I had been eating in the last 20 mins. Also the rice was absolutely delicious. Japanese rice is very rarely cooked in my household because it’s expensive and also has a very rich and sticky texture that I find more filling than normal rice. Nevertheless it’s a wonderful rice type and the Japanese like to pair it with sweet vinegar which gives it a lovely touch of acidity but yet not too much. It works as a real appetite stimulator! Pairing it with the various different types of sashimi gave interesting taste combinations, but I will always prefer eating sashimi purely on its own.

ANOTHER sashimi platter

2nd plate mixed sashimi

I just could not resist ordering another one of these mystery platters. Slightly disappointed that the chef didn’t do a complete different set of fish for me to try, but then who could complain with this combination! It was identical to my first platter and so no new comments here other than the fact that my satiety levels were peaking when nearing the end of this.

This meal was fantastic and the freshness of the fish cannot be rivalled with anywhere I have ever eaten before in the world! Any sushi lover must come to this place but again I must reemphasise that this place does sushi only, and mightily good sushi at that! Ealing remains my top spot for Japanese food and I’m so glad it’s on the outskirts of west london to give me a good excuse to go there everytime I come out of London and drive home to Cardiff!

In total including drinks and service charge we paid £75. Considering I was pretty full before the second round we could easily have walked away happy for £45, so I think this place is fantastic value for money. In Nobu you would probably be paying around £300+ for this much sushi! I would choose this place every time.

Contact:

1 Station Parade Uxbridge Rd
London
W5 3LD

Opening Hours:
Lunch served 11am-1.30pm Tue-Sun
Dinner served 4.30-9pm Tue-Sun

020 8896 3175

No website

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Responses

  1. […] experience ever was scallop sashimi at the now closed (sob sob) Sushi Hiro in Ealing London (review here). The natural sweetness and juiciness of that ultra fresh flesh was just worlds apart from anything […]


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