What: Inventive sushi
Where: 117 – 119 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3RN
Why you should go there: For the creative sushi dishes and presentation
Favourite thing we ate: Vegetable Garden
Yashin Ocean House is a sushi house-cum-Willy Wonka factory where sushi and Japanese dishes have been given a creative breath of life by Executive Chef Minero and Chef Ikeda who heads the kitchen. Ocean House High Street Kensington was originally opened by Chef Minero in 2010 followed by a South Kensington branch in 2013, The Handbook headed down to check it out.
You can choose to dine by the sushi bar where you can get a front row seat to watch the action as the chefs get working on their seafood masterpieces or alternatively, if you are looking for a more traditional dining experience there is a dining section the other side of the bar. I saw all sorts of wonderful and wacky dishes flying past, being couriered to various tables by the waiters. Spools of candy floss were accompanying cuts of meat, large tempura prawns were speared precariously on a swaying needle with a test tube of sauce and I’m pretty certain I saw a bowl that was glowing.
Creativity is shovelled on the food in spades which is a great delight especially for those who like to dine out a lot and can become tired of the lack of imagination even if the food is good so when someone adds a little flair, it’s a great touch. Any food can be improved with a little deep fry so tempura is a must whenever I can get it, the Vegetable Garden here serves differed vegetable in a square of plastic foliage with a metal watering can containing a delicious dipping sauce, akin to ketchup in consistency.
Another stand out dishes was the florally decorated Scottish Salmon Tartare with crispy skin, flowers are a common garnish on many of the dishes we tried which really make it stand out. For example the Seasonal Vegetable Plate consists of slightly seared vegetables, beautifully presented as a little garden complete with mandarin crisps and green wasabi puffs as make shift shrubs. On the downside we had an odd starter of scallop with a sour cream foam (veggie option is a slice of Japanese radish) which was entirely flavourless and pointless as the foam literally disappeared in my mouth.
The best dessert was the Lemon Cheesecake with lemon zest and miniature macaroons; light and full of zing, it was a great palate cleanser especially if, like me, you aren’t a fan of sorbet.
The food here is well-priced, especially given its pricey location, so you don’t need to break the bank to get high quality sushi unless you opt for the £55 Kobe Steak that is. I loved the sushi island in the middle of the restaurant and the general décor was on point although I did spy a couple of bare, undecorated walls which brought the look down a little but all in all, an enjoyable experience and worth the visit.