There's a new robata and sushi bar in West London and I'm rather excited about it. Found on the second floor of High Street Kensington's Wholefoods Market in the Barkers Building, Sushi and Robata is the latest venture from Japanese Genji. Proud to offer up creative, healthy and authentic Japanese cuisine, the menu is roughly split into small sushi places and grilled dishes from the robata grill. Not forgetting bento boxes and sushi treats to takeaway! Opening it's doors back at the end of June 2016, I couldn't wait to whip out my chopsticks and give it a whirl.
There's an open kitchen lit by industrial style lamps, which overlooks the handful of chefs with various masteries for sushi rolling or robata grill skills. The menu is beauitfully laid out, with painfully good (enviable even) food photography to display the dishes.
On the recommendation of the knowledgable waiter, I went for a mix of intricate rolls, seared tataki, robata skewers and small Japanese plates.
For the sushi roll side of things, I went for the Triple Heaven (8 pieces for £13.75) and the award winning Genji Tuna Crunch maki (8 pieces for £14.75). The Triple Heaven is a layered up nori sandwich with handpicked crab, prawns, scallops, spring onions, a kick of spicy mayonnaise and a katsu crunch. On the other hand, the Rat-Japan Sushi Award 2015 Winner was rolled up with king prawn tempura and cucumber before being topped with spicy tuna, spring onion, tempura crunch, spicy mayo and drizzle of teriyaki.
The components of the spicy tuna came together so well without the red chilli being too overpowering. When I saw the red chillies on top, I got a tad worried. However all the elements came together so well and the crunch sealed the deal. The triple crunch had all my favourite elements of a Japanese seafood roll, with a gloriously creamy sauce and more of that delicious crunchy texture.
Another of my favourite Japanese dishes is tataki, which is usually raw tuna or salmon seared on the outside and thinly sliced. In this case, the salmon is lightly seared before being doused in tangy ponzu sauce and scattered with toasted sesame seeds. A zesty soy based dressing, ponzu usually features a citrus based fruit such as sour yuzu or bitter orange daidai.
From the robata grill, you can pick and choose whichever takes your fancy of "rock around the clock." For this you can choose five pieces for £14, nine for £24 or twelve pieves for £32. I went for the delectable salmon negishio and tuna sesame, which I an wholeheartedly recommend.
Last but not least was the Nasu Dengaku (£6.50) from the small plates section. These were aubergine pieces, cooked until soft with a slight charred edge, which had been finished with a thick miso syrup. The sweet, salty and savoury combination is a real treat, which gives the classic umami flavour.
And with matcha green tea cream puffs on the menu, I could hardly say no could I? I love anything green tea flavoured and these are not to be missed. The sweet but earthy taste of matcha met with sweet and creamy whipped cream. All packaged together in soft and floaty sugared pastry. Thumbs up from me.
Overall I think it's pretty obvious I'm a big fan of this new place. If you love your sushi, Japanese styling and green tea based desserts as much as I do, I'm sure you will too.
Sushi and Robata
63-97 The Barkers Building
63-97 The Barkers Building
Kensington High St
I was invited for a complimentary meal for purposes of review. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.