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63-66 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4JS


http://murakami.london/


murakami I


f I had to choose one cuisine, it would be Japanese. Lucky for me,


it’s totally trending, and the choice is off the charts, from high end sushi to ramen for a tenner. Murakami, the latest incarnation, is contemporary Japanese food at aff ordable prices. Aff ordable that is, unless you order everything in sight like SOME peo- ple! I’m not mentioning any names. The cool interior has both edge


and aesthetic. Bleached wood and green turf decorate the vast room and an open kitchen/bar spans its impressive length. The food is a mix of classic and modern. Master- minded by Head Chef Rey Sabinosa, the menu includes hot and cold tapas, meat and fi sh grilled on the robata (Japan’s answer to the Weber) and Sabinosa’s specialty, sushi and sashimi. Salted edamame with a hot pepper dip (£3.50) was a great ice breaker. Defi nitely got my taste buds ready to tuck into some sushi. Inven- tive, tasty and beautiful, this is where Sabinosa shines. Spicy scallop roll


44 The American


Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick


with tobiko, cucumber and avocado (£10) was a little work of art where the piquant augmented rather than overpowered the delicate scallops. Yellowtail jalapeño roll with cucum- ber and jalapeño sauce (£12) had even more zing but still kept a good balance. New style sashimi was salmon that had been seared in hot oil and served with yuzu soy (£7.90). The taste of cooked salmon gives the sashimi much more depth of fl avor. This allows for the addition of tart yuzu which would otherwise be too much for raw fi sh alone. Classic Ebi tempura wasn’t the most delicate I have ever had, but a good portion. 5 large prawns for £8.50. Ice cold batter is what gives tempura its unique,


lacy texture.


These were tasty, deep fried shrimp. Another more successful classic was Pork gyoza or dumplings (£5.90). Thin and delicate wrappers with a fl avorful fi lling and soy and vinegar for dipping. Grilled mackerel was served with daikon oroshi (grated radish), a clas-


sic accompaniment for fatty fi sh. Perfectly grilled and I was beaming after all that Omega 3! We were how- ever under the mistaken impression that this would be more of a “main” course. It wasn’t. One small fi llet for £11.50. As much as I enjoyed it, not good value for money. Also from the robata, asparagus with spicy miso (£6.90). Grilling is perhaps the best method of cooking asparagus, keep- ing it both crunchy and juicy and miso is a great alternative to salt. I washed everything down with 150 ml of Hakurakusei Junmai Ginjo Sake (£19) which I enjoyed very much. Very full with hints of liquo- rice. A glass of Gavi, Tuff olo (£8) was also a great accompaniment. Light and slightly eff ervescent with a good balance of citrus and mineral. We fi nished with spring rolls


which work surprisingly well as des- sert. A very satisfying crunch, fi lled with strawberry and banana, driz- zled with honey and served with ice cream. Service was fast, informative and friendly. Thumbs up!


New style sashimi


Pork Gyoza


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