The weather outside might be frightful, but what better place to hide than the brand new Sticks ‘n’ Sushi on the King’s Road? This trip to the Danish groups’ latest venue, which opened up in October, was literally a “come rain or shine” ordeal. Scarf wrapped around my eyes, posing as a really rather awful umbrella, I ran, sodden, into the restaurant, somewhat taken aback by the sheer luxe of it all. Did someone say sushi o’clock? Well, even if they hadn’t I was having my full endorsement of it, no questions asked. Despite having an abundance of restaurants in their catalogue spread from coveted London plots to outsider locations Oxford and Cambridge, the Sticks ‘n’ Sushi giants refuse to rest solely on their illustrious reputation when tempting feasters through their front doors. This particular venture dons an expansive space set across three floors, making it the largest of the Sticks ‘n’ Sushi empire to date! You can also tell NORM, the Copenhagen architects behind the design, have sprinkled their minimalistic yet sleek influence throughout. The interior holds a certain je ne sais quoi, and a definite elegance, framed by an alluring centre open kitchen.
If your nose tends to turn up at the mention of sushi, read on. Why? Because Sticks ‘n’ Sushi famously delve deeper than their namesake, offering yakitori sticks from the grill such as chicken, pork, beef and vegetable skewers. Yes, sushi is a large focus but isn’t the main one. The half-Japanese, half-Danish influence seeps through in the selection of food which is presented in an aesthetically pleasing glossy menu named ‘photo album’. Subsequently, you can observe a real focus on the beauty of food and how it is more of an artwork than someone we put in our mouths. The menu waltzes between individual sticks, sushi and sides (àla carte style)to platters with cheeky chappy names like Pay Day and Four Meal Drive.
It took a solid half an hour to flit through the menu and comes to any sort of decision, salivating as we went and doing the typical glance over at other people’s food as it flew from the kitchen. The Sticks ‘n’ Sushi menu begins with the declaration that “a meal at Sticks’n’Sushi is not the most direct route to sainthood. We have both the angelic and the wicked on our menu.” The only wicked thing going on here was the temptatious dish choices. However, taking pity on us, our fabulous waitress Sharee tutored us through the menu. We opted for the following: beef tataki, broccoli grilled with goma shiro, boiled rice (times two!), Ebi panko and pink Alaska sushi, and sticks Kushi katzu, chiizu maki (Emmental cheese in bacon), and Wagyu yaki. The winner? The Wagyu yaki by far, the Japanese beef melted in our mouths like some kind of butter, and despite having had this before, the Sticks ‘n’ Sushi’s offering soared above any other. Recommendations include the Matcha tea to finish, presented in round stone bowls and whisked before your eyes.
For some reason, there’s an assumption that even I held that Sushi restaurants main drink of choice is Sake. This couldn’t be further from the truth at Sticks ‘n’ Soosh (as it now rings out whenever I speak the name). Yes there are an elaborately enticing amount of Sakes on offer, from rich and mellow selections of hiya, nishinoseki, kayashima and special Sakes. However, the restaurant group also boasts a huge selection of moreish cocktails, teas such as genmaicha and hojicha, and freshly squeezed juices.
After a dabble, I highly recommend two drinks; the Yuzu Zoo (gin combine with yuzu juice, plum wine and honey) is just delectable. And, not only does it taste WOW, there’s also picture opportunity a’plenty. However, if gin doesn’t ruffle your feathers then opt for a Stix Spritz, (Kamm & Sons, plum wine, a touch of yuzu & agave, topped up with prosecco) after all, anything topped up with prosecco can’t do much harm!)
Go and feast at 113-115, King’s Rd, Chelsea, SW3 4NT with anyone who would be as keen as you to join a sushi appreciation society. Visit here for more Sticks’n’Sushi natterings.