Sushi can be hit and miss but this restaurant and deli in a former pub off Piccadilly gets it right every time. Founded by seafood-trader Katsu Yoshino in 1996, it’s been paving the way on London’s Japanese food scene ever since.
Yoshino sits on a small road to nowhere and its exterior is somewhat nondescript – but don’t let that deter you. Inside you’ll be warmly welcomed by two maestros manning a 10-seater sushi counter. You can choose whether to take away or eat in; head upstairs for table service.
The menu, surprisingly affordable, is what makes this place a winner. Fish and meat are responsibly sourced; fruit and vegetables organic; and all fresh and well-prepared without artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. The nasu dengaku (miso-glazed aubergine) is the perfect balance between salty and sweet, the Japanese gyoza piping hot and the likes of salmon and tuna carpaccio straight from the ocean. The soft-shell crab has just the right amount of crunch and the tempura asparagus is wonderfully simple. Then there’s the grilled unagi (freshwater eel) with teriyaki sauce and the wagyu-beef ribeye steak with chilli miso.
Since 2015 the restaurant has also adopted a Japanese barbeque concept: each table now comes complete with a smokeless grill so you can cook your own atsuage shoga (tofu), hire (beef tenderloin) or ika (squid). So, a sushi staple with all the trimmings.
Yoshino, 3 Piccadilly Place, London, W1J 0DB.