I first had Asian and Latin American fusion food in Nobu a few years ago, but ever since this type of food has become very popular with the openings of Asia de Cuba, Sushi Samba and now Sushinho. Sushinho blends Brazilian and Japanese food and tries to serve you food that you would find in Rio and Sao Paolo prepared by some of the 1.8 million Japanese people that now live in Brazil.
The original Sushinho is located on King’s Road in south/ west London but this year they opened another branch by Liverpool street, which is where I went for lunch with my friend Simon on a Monday. I had problems finding this place, as it is located in a courtyard just off the main street and the google maps did not show the exact location of this restaurant. Also from the outside the sign “Sushinho” was not too obvious. When we finally located this place it only had a few occupied tables, but the waitress explained that it gets very busy as the week progresses and Mondays and Tuesdays are slow for them, and it used to be a bit empty in general but things have picked up since they opened the place in February.
The main chef at Sushinho is Joni Viscardi, a Brazilian national, and they put big emphasis on buying the best ingredients. Simon did question this freshness of produce, as he thought the six piece sashimi that we ordered was not that fresh, and he thought it felt like the salmon had been cut a few hours ago. Also I found it quite confusing that on their menu they say that a few years ago they even stopped buying and serving tuna, as it is under threat globally, but they definitely served us tuna in our sashimi, and I have picture evidence. Also another thing that I found quite funny was that on their website they actually compared themselves to Sushi Samba, and said that even though they don’t have the view that Sushi Samba has, they implied their food is better, which strikes me as so odd and strange to put it like this and even mention.
Besides the sashimi, we also ordered “butterfish tataki” with truffle jelly and crispy capers. I thought this was great, as I have never had butterfish before, and found it quite nice, and it did have a buttery texture. Simon would have preferred if they had cut the fish thinner, but I am not sure it would have stayed together if it was thinner, as the flesh broke easily. After the sashimi we ordered one of the rolls, the “Sushinho roll” that had salmon, crab and cream cheese. It was beautifully presented and had different colours and elements and tastes to it, definitely more interesting to look at than your average roll, a bit like rolls in Sushi Samba, but as Simon correctly put it, you enjoy these type of rolls once in your life, and really like them, but would not want to have them again, because they are a bit out of the ordinary.
After the roll we moved to fried section, and I ordered the mixed seafood tempura, but mistakenly they brought us vegetable tempura. I did think it was strange, but Simon tried to tell me that I had actually ordered vegetable tempura, so I did not mention this to the waiters, but after a while they realized their mistake and brought us another plate of the correct mixed seafood tempura, and so we could eat two tempuras and naturally they made the vegetable tempura complimentary. The mixed seafood tempura had a type of white fish and prawns in batter and a few pieces of vegetables, and the vegetable tempura had peppers, onions, courgettes and other vegetables in batter. I did not think this was particularly great tempura, the batter was quite thick and it just did not feel right and I usually love tempura and I did not want to eat too much of this. Also the sauces that the tempura was presented with I did not like too much and prefer the original Japanese sauce that comes with it. The last dish that we ordered was the 6oz USDA prime picanha (a bit like rib eye) and we had this with cassava chips. You could have the steak with one sauce (there were 3 to choose from), but when I asked if I could have all 3, the waitress said I could not. After insisting I would pay for these extra sauces, she did allow me to order all 3. Simon thought this was outrageous, how we were paying so much money for the food and they would charge us for two extra sauces. In the end I am happy to say they did not appear on the bill. The steak was good, served medium rare, just like we wanted, well-seasoned and generally delicious. Some expensive steakhouses can’t get these simple things right, and Sushinho did well on their steak. The sauces that came with the steak were nice too, there was chimichurri, a soy sauce type of sauce and another one, more creamier type of sauce. But the best thing were the cassava chips, they were incredibly delicious, and I think I almost prefer these cassava chips to normal chips. So tasty and the texture of them was great and soft and fluffy, yummy.
Not only do I think the view and the atmosphere are better at Sushi Samba, I also think the food is better. There were some things that I really liked about Sushinho like the steak, the cassava chips and the butterfish, but overall I thought the food was not good enough to justify the prices.
Price for 2 people, no alcohol and service charge: £91.69
Location: Liverpool Street