A thorough review of Sushinho, a Japanese-Brazilian restaurant in London.
I couldn’t help but wonder if someone smoked too much crack when they came up with the Japanese-Brazilian theme for a restaurant in the never ending quest to be unusual and stick out in London’s fiercely competitive scene. Digging a little deeper it was my turn to be sheepish.
Over a hundred years ago, after slave labour was abolished, Brazil faced a labour shortage as the demand for one of its biggest exports, coffee, kept growing. At first Brazil appealed to Europe and mostly Italians came to work in such gruelling conditions that Italy ended up prohibiting subsidised immigration to Brazil.
Luckily for Brazil, thanks to the end of feudalism in Japan left many of its people impoverished looking for a better life and they came in droves. Today the Japanese population hovers just below one and a half million and most of them live in São Paulo and Paraná, where most of the coffee plantations are based.
The history doesn’t stop there. One of Sushinho’s branches is located at the Devonshire Square; the site was originally used to quarry bricks in the 100-300AD. During the 1700’s the East India Company bought the land and built warehouses to store Far Eastern luxury goods. This is where we ate, admiring the great lengths the British would go to preserve historical buildings. It’s a lovely outdoor setting, spacious with an open-air feel but not fearing rain thanks to the translucent roof above.
It was hard for me to pick my favourite dish because the food was of exceptionally high standard. The starters, Butterfish Tataki (£9.50) and Moqueca Ceviche (£8.50), had a fresh, light and crispness to them with perfectly balanced flavours.
Our custom sushi platter’s presentation was simply stunning. Sushinho’s salmon is smoked with hickory in-house and come in delectable thick slices that glided on the tongue. It also appears in a sushi roll with mango, parmesan, avocado and coriander (£8.50). A wide range of Sashimi is to be had and I opted for the Razor Clam which had a muddy taste reminiscent of mussels. The Spider Roll (£9.50) had a pleasant kick to it thanks to the additional fillings, wasabi tobiko and chili.
The only reservation for the night was the Rio Sushi Roll (£8.50), which comprised prawn, wasabi tobiko and strawberry. By no means was it bad but the strawberry sweetness was rather overwhelming and the dish was better suited to the dessert menu minus the prawns. Anyway, when I think of Yo! Sushi now I think of a street food van. Sushinho? The Ritz.
By now I was stuffed to the brim and mustered one Jumbo Prawn (£7.50), which was as meaty as lobster and incredibly moreish Japanese Mushrooms (£6.00). The restaurant’s triple cooked Cassava Chips (£4.50) were of the better ones I’ve tasted recently.
Jeanne, who was my dining companion, soldiered on bravely with Pork Belly Feijoada (£14.50) and Blackened Butterfish with Wasabi Guacamole (£15.00). She loved them both.
Lastly, we had some Churros with Doce de Leite (£5.50). As someone who had it for the first time it reminded me of South African pancakes with extra crunch and the caramel sauce is an extra plus.
It was a wonderful meal on a lovely night with a good friend. A perfect birthday in my books.
9/10: Close to perfection.
7/10: Pricy but high quality.
9/10: Our waitress knew the menu off by heart and was efficient.
9/10: Clean and liked that each toilet has its own sink.
8/10: The outdoor area is better suited for drinks than eating because of the low tables. It’s a great idea to go there over a weekend when it’s quiet.
9/10: If offered to eat at Sushinho again I would jump at the chance without blinking.
P.S. I was a guest of Sushinho.