The Afternoon Tea That Swaps Sandwiches for Sushi

By a woman smiling holding a drink in black and white Emily Gray |
29th May 2018

What: If you ever have that moment where you think that you’d really like some sushi, but you’d also really like a scone and you don’t know which to choose (granted it might not be the most common thought but I bet it happens) then I’m here to tell you that you no longer to make that decision. Why? Because Ichi Sushi & Sashimi have combined the two to create an afternoon tea that replaces sandwiches with sushi.

The Setting: If you think roundabouts are just places to advertise local businesses, show off flowerbeds and a dumping ground for broken shopping trolleys then you need to think again, because Ichi Sushi sits inside space age looking Park Plaza Westminster which itself makes up a roundabout just behind Southbank. This is Park Plaza territory as Park Plaza County Hall is just across the road and Park Plaza London Waterloo and London Riverbank are both just a few minutes’ walk away.

 


The Look: The restaurant is minimalistic and sleek. There’s a sushi bar so you can watch the chefs at work, but really, it’s all about the view. If you can get a seat by the window because then you’re going to get that iconic view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

On The Menu: Starting with a selection of sushi the tea then carries on with scones and cakes which change each day.

What We Ate: Rather than a cake stand the tea is served on a ‘Guzei’ a traditional Japanese garden bridge and starts with the sushi and sashimi, there’s prawn, avocado and salmon nigiri followed by a tuna roll which was given a kick with a spicy mayonnaise; a California roll topped with smoky tobiko (fish roe) and an avocado and cucumber roll wrapped in aonori (seaweed). It’s surprisingly filling.

Scones looked promising, but sadly were rather dry, we only managed a half even with plenty of clotted cream and jam. That said the cakes were delicious, they change each day, so you won’t find signature pastries but expect to find plenty, you’re not going to go home hungry, there was a particularly good macaron and a passionfruit cream swirl too.

What We Drank: Teas are light and herbal and include the Emerald Dragon Oolong tea and a Rosy Fig tea. We went for the jasmine tea with camomile and rose which was light enough so that we could keep drinking it throughout. If you want something slightly stronger then you can also go for a sake flight.

Go With: If you’re a stickler for tradition then this isn’t going to be the tea for you, the only place you’ll find cucumber is in the sushi rolls. That said for £25 you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better priced afternoon tea in London, especially one that gives you views of Big Ben.

Final Word: I understand why Ichi Sushi is serving an afternoon tea, everyone loves an afternoon tea, it’s like announcing a gin party or cheese festival, you’re onto a winner. Is it somewhere I would immediately go for afternoon tea, perhaps not, for the sushi, yes, but for the scones, no. That said it’s proven popular so perhaps they are onto something.

Where: Ichi Sushi & Sashimi Bar, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, SE1 7UT, www.ichisushi.co.uk

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