Aug 17 2012


This is one of the hottest openings of this year that everyone is talking about. SushiSamba is a Japanese/ Peruvian/ Brazilian fusion restaurant (so a bit like Nobu in this way) that already has branches in New York, Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas and a few weeks ago they opened their first restaurant in Europe, in London. SushiSamba is located on the 39th floor of the Heron Tower, in the financial city area of London, and is now supposed to be the 2nd highest restaurant in Europe (only to be upstaged by Duck & Waffle which is located in the same building but on the 40th floor). I went there on a very hot Friday a few weeks ago for lunch and the view from the 39th floor was absolutely amazing, the best you can get in London in my view and tourists should be taken here not to the London Eye. 


You can sit outside on the terrace, but only if it is a good day and the breeze is not too big, but sitting outside (as we did) is actually quite scary as there is not that much protection between you and the ground 39 floors below, I personally felt too uncomfortable to sit at a table next to the side of the terrace. Also even though it is amazing to eat outside the wind can be pretty harsh, and the wind actually blew my water glass on the floor and broke it into small pieces, and all the garnish of the sushi was constantly blowing into my face and over my clothes. Overall I enjoyed Sushi Samba very much (I read a review in the evening standard which gave Sushi Samba 2 out of 5 and I seriously don’t understand how you can give it such a low rating and I want to be going to the places this woman goes to if she thinks Sushi Samba is a 2). 


When we first arrived to SushiSamba we ordered some “aperativos” as the menu calls them, and instead of the usual edamame I always go for, I wanted to be more adventurous and chose the green bean tempura with black truffle aioli and padron peppers with sea salt and lemon. I thought there was a bit too much batter on the green beans but the sauce that went with them was amazing! As for the padron peppers they were not as nice as the ones you can get in a good Spanish restaurant, as they were far too soft in my view (and note this is a typical Spanish dish not Japanese, Peruvian or Brazilian, not that I care too much but just pointing this out). 


After these small starters we decided to have some “yellowtail taquitos with lemongrass, avocado, aji panca miso, lime”, “wagyu guoza with courgette purée and su-shoyu dipping sauce” as well as the ceviche (which here they spelled seviche, I guess assuming people don’t know how to pronounce it) with “octopus, prawn, south coast white fish, sweet potato, aji limo, aji colorado leche de tigre”.  All this food (in contrast to the aperativos) was good, the yellowtail taquitos were delicious, so was the wagyu gyoza (the filling felt very delicious and thick), and the ceviche I thought was very authentic and I thought actually better than the ones I have had recently at Ceviche and Limo, 2 Peruvian restaurants in London. 


I had also ordered some sushi, and I was quite surprised to find that they decided to serve the robata dishes before they served the sushi, and all the other restaurants usually as you know do it the other way round, but this could be just a one off problem and the waiters forgot or messed up. We did seem to have a few problems with service when we were there, the wine we had ordered arrived when we had already finished half our meal, and they did forget about us sometimes for a long period of time, but I am sure this is only because this is a new restaurant and this will improve as time goes by. So as I said we had the robata dishes next, the “ lamb chops, aji panca” and the “scallops, bonito and yuzu” with some asparagus on the side. The lamb chops were ok, similar to the ones in Nobu (which I also did not think were the best but ok), the scallops were nice too according to my lunch buddies (I am not a huge fan of scallops so can’t really say I enjoyed them too much). 


After this we finally got the sushi and we had ordered Samba rolls, and we chose the Samba London roll which had 6 different pieces, crab, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, prawn, scallop, wagyu decorated with various nice things (half of this was blown away by the wind though). One of my colleagues that went to Sushi Samba a few days before me did say he thought the sushi was a bit mushy as they added some things to the rice, which was the case, but I did like it. 


So overall service needs improvement in SushiSamba, but I am sure they will sort it out, and some of the dishes are not as good as you can get in other restaurants for the same price and could do with a bit of tweaking, but overall the food is good. But the best thing of course is the view and the atmosphere and everyone should go there at least once.


Price for 3 including a bottle of wine and 1 gin & tonic and service charge: 237.94


Location: city



Update on Sushisamba after 4 visits


I have now been to Sushisamba around 4 times. The first time I went (which I describe above) I had forgotten my camera so I always knew I had to go back to take pictures (on the 2nd and 3rd time though they told me off for taking pictures and said I could not do it, so I only have managed to capture a few of the dishes). Sushisamba has become very popular, just like I knew it would, every time I go there, I now bump into people that I know. The service has improved and is very good, and I have had no problems with any of the dishes, all are very good, some more and some less. Whilst after my first visit I wanted to give SushiSamba MMMm, now I think it is a solid MMMM restaurant.

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Square Meal

Maija rated: 



Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
United Kingdom
SushiSamba Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4