Sticks’n’Sushi, London

This might not be a very well known fact. Scandinavia has a huge raw fish obsession. No seriously, you must have heard or seen the word roll-mops? Pickled Herring we call it. Actually no, we call it Inlagd Sill in Swedish hahahah. I know I know, sounds…erm… interesting? It’s part of my heritage and in my blood to be fond of raw fish.

We are also kind of famous for the lightly-salted fermented Baltic Sea herring called Surströmming. It is actually raw rotten fish and people eat it on purpose. That’s where I draw the line. I am told it stinks and makes grown men and strong women cry. How, or more importantly why this became a delicacy I have no idea… It is so fermented that the tin it is in buckles from the fermented gasses inside. It is banned on flights because the pressure within the tin and the pressure in the plane makes for a perfect storm. Can you imagine that exploding open and releasing the smell? No. Thank. You.

Sweden is a country with so much water surrounding it, that we have through the ages been great fishermen…and Vikings of course. If I remember it correctly from school (which was a hot minute ago) Swedish Vikings ventured deep into Russia, Germany, Poland and as far as Ukraine, Greece and even Turkey. We have easy access to crab, cray fish, lobster and salmon and for a very long time these were considered ‘poor mans’ food. There was so much of it that people grew sick and tired of it and fed shell fish to animals and prisoners. Can you believe it!

For freshness we would salt and cure our fish. You’ve probably heard of Gravad Lax – well that’s my favourite! I love it and miss it terribly whilst in England as it’s just not the same here. I do make a great mustard sauce for it, if I may say so myself.

With all that in mind, taking a leap across to Sushi is not that strange after all. In fact, Sticks’n’Sushi is a Danish company! I couldn’t be prouder of my fellow Scandi neighbours.

Confession Time

I didn’t know much about sushi for many years and visiting any restaurants didn’t appeal to me. Mainly becasue I never knew what to order as I didn’t have a clue what any of the dishes were and what the names meant. Sashimi, Maki, Nigiri, Temaki…. I almost felt like I had to study up on everything before going to a sushi restaurant which had sort of put me off for a long time.

Sticks’n’Sushi have brilliant menus which made me feel like I didn’t need to be an expert, because it has pictures of everything! You actually know what you’re ordering and the staff are so patient and friendly with you if you have no clue, like me. They really take the time to help you and are on hand for any questions you may have.

There are several Sticks’n’Sushi restaurants in London but I’ve only been to the Covent Garden branch. I’ve been here many times, I celebrated my friends birthday here, I’ve been with family and also had a quick bite for lunch with my husband.

Each and every time we have had a brilliant meal and good service. A few things that I’ve ordered I didn’t particularly like, but I’m happy I tried them. Because I feel it’s important to be adventurous sometimes.

I don’t actually have many photographs of my visits here, I’ve enjoyed it so much that I haven’t given a second thought to photographing much. Bad blogger…BAD Blogger hahahaha

But isn’t that really what going to restaurants is all about? Living in the moment, spending time with friends and family and enjoying the time you have together and sharing the food. A mismatch of tastes, opinions and great conversations. That’s what makes it for me anyway. That and not having to wash up at the end of the meal.

I miss going out to eat during this Covid-19 world we live in. I wonder what the world will look like post covid. I am absolutely putting a list together in my head of all the places I want to visit first…if they are fortunate enough to have survived the lockdown that is.

The Interior

It’s dark in the colour scheme but bright through thoughtfully placed lighting. Simple and very Scandi. It is actually a very functional space which I feel gives a nod to both Japanese and Scandi cultures in food and in its interior design. It invokes feelings of calm and serenity being here. Last time I visited there were stones on the tables as chop stick rests…is that what they are called? Whatever, that’s what they had and it works so well. Simple but effective.

Downstairs there is a sushi bar that you can sit at if you don’t want a table. I would like to sit there at some point in the future. I love watching chefs work. I almost think it’s like watching art be created. Art that you can eat!

The Food

I don’t even know where to begin so I’m just going to show you. Sometimes pictures really do all the talking, don’t you think?

I have tried quite a few dishes here now. I’ve found that visiting as a group is a great way to try lots of different dishes without breaking the bank.

This is not a cheap restaurant but it is not one of the most expensive either. There are some brilliant pre-set meals which gives you a little bit of everything. I haven’t actually been to any other sushi restaurant in England, so I don’t have anything to compare to price wise. Having looked at other menus from other restaurants online I believe Sticks’n’Sushi to be well priced for what it is and what you get.

I must highlight a few of my favourite dishes;

My first is the Fried Cauliflower with black truffle goma. Honestly, I could eat this all day every day! My second favourite is the Hotate Kataifi which I haven’t got a picture of. It is Scallops, miso aïoli, trout roe, kataifi and is so incredibly tasty that if you like scampi (because that’s what it reminds me of a little) then you have to try it. My third is the black cod sticks. Melt-in-your-mouth-gimme-another-10-of-these-please sort of tasty! The beef tataki is pretty amazing too.

They have so many incredible dishes on the menu. Last time I visited I tried the Kobe Beef Stick and wow. So tasty! I think it’s really clever and inclusive that there is so much food on the menu that would appeal to a wider customer set that aren’t necessarily in to raw fish.

The Service

The service is generally really good, friendly and always with a smile no matter how busy they seem to be. But I must admit that they have at times forgotten to give us hot towels at the beginning of our meal. But this doesn’t stop me from going back obviously, it just makes you feel a little left out when you see other people with them.

Never do I feel rushed to get out because they need the table back. I feel like this is the kind of place you can hang out for a while and take it easy and eat slowly without getting the ‘hurry up’ glance from your server.

The Verdict

  • Great Fusion Sushi
  • Expensive but worth it
  • Great for larger groups as sharing is caring
  • Varied menu (with photos!)
  • Not all about sushi – there are a few other choices too
  • Calming and comfortable interior design that works
  • Good Service
  • Great selection of take-away food during covid-19 lock down

I’d like to dedicate this post my mother-in-law who sadly passed away in October after a very short battle with Cancer.

Seeing her try sushi for the first time in her life in her 80s was a wonderful sight and one I am so happy and grateful to have been able to share with her.

It’s an honour to have known you Joan, you are very missed.

All the details you need to get yourself to Sticks’n’Sushi can be found below;

To visit their website click here

To see a selection of their menu click here

If you’ve been here before what did you think? Or are you planning a visit? Let me know in the comments as I’d love to hear from you.

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