I think Yashin is one of the best sushi places in London (not to be confused with the best Japanese restaurant, as Yashin focuses on sushi and even though they have other dishes sushi (sashimi) is what you have to eat there)! Yashin is located on a quiet street just off High Street Kensington and is quite a small restaurant and you can either eat on the ground floor at the sushi bar or downstairs in the basement where they have small tables. The 2 main chefs and owners Yasuhiro Mineno and Shinya Ikeda have been chefs for many years and worked in many good restaurants (Yasuhiro was at Ubon, the sister restaurant to Nobu, before opening Yashin). The interesting thing about Yashin is that in the restaurant you are discouraged to eat soy sauce with their sushi, their moto is "without soy sauce, but if you want to"... I asked for some soy sauce and the waitress kept eagerly explaining how bad it is for me and how I will ruin the sushi, but I still did have some!
To start with, we ordered some edamame (delicious and nicely presented), and then moved on to have the Yellow Tail with Garlic Sauce (which to be fair is not as good as the one in Zuma which I consider to be one of my top 10 dishes in London but was still amazing), Wagyu Sirloin with Wasabi Sauce (amazing!!) and a salad with soft shell crab, which was officially called “mizuna leaf and deep fried soft shell blue crab with tosa vinegar” (I am not a huge fan of soft shell crab but my dinner buddy seemed to think it was great!). Then we moved on to the amazing sushi! We had the Yashin set of 15 sushi which costs £60 (so £4 per sushi... quite pricy) But it was amazing! Each piece of sushi is individually decorated (some pieces seared beautifully, see below in the pictures) and every piece of sushi is literally a small piece of art. Not only is it wonderful to look at, but also extremely delicious (so you can actually have it easily with no soy sauce as it is so tasty and does not need anything else). After devouring 15 sushi between the two of us, I was still feeling a bit hungry, so we ordered the eel roll (barbecued fresh water eel and marinade pineapple with mango sauce) and the beef roll (stewed wagyu beef and crispy tempura batter with egg sauce). Note in Yashin they do like putting beef in sushi and rolls, which you don’t usually get in a sushi restaurant but they make it taste absolutely amazing. Note I wanted to go for the prawn roll (prawn tempura and French beans with chilli ponzu jelly) at first but the waitress was insisting I have the beef and it was amazing, so well done her!
A meal for 2 with 2 glasses of sake each costs £200, so this is not an everyday place but the sushi is as good as you will ever get and there are more expensive and less tasty restaurants in London! The only criticism I have is that I had a fight with the receptionist, who said I had to sit downstairs when I wanted to sit by the sushi counter, and they put as at one side of the sushi counter for the first part of the dinner and then moved us to another part of the sushi counter later on as some other people had requested that specific place on the sushi counter where we had been seating. But this is just a minor detail, which I don't take into review when giving my 5 Ms, but if you care about this kind of service issue, do take note! For me as long as the food is as good as Yashin serves, and it is just incredible, I am happy to have all sorts of service issues.