These days, most people will avoid using the word ‘fusion’ entirely, given that it usually results in a few grimaces and raised eyebrows. SUSHISAMBA therefore does not describe itself as a fusion restaurant, but rather a ‘unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, music and design.’ I describe it as fantastic.
Located on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower near London’s Liverpool Street station, the views at SUSHISAMBA are incredible. That is, of course, if you don’t choose to go on the day that a huge storm hits the south of England. Despite the pounding rain and grey skies, however, it was still a pretty amazing view over the whole of the city.
The space, aside from the view, is also pretty cool, yet simple, with a super high bamboo-lattice ceiling and floor to ceiling windows to show off the view.
Not knowing where to begin on the overwhelming menu that all sounded delicious, we gave our waiter free rein to serve us whatever he pleased.
One of the most memorable dishes was the rock shrimp tempura, drizzled in a rich black truffle vinaigrette and spicy mayonnaise. Everything from the texture of the prawns to the way the flavours all worked together made this a winning dish.
The crispy taquitos, filled with yellowtail and avocado were a fun marriage of Peruvian and Japanese ideas and thus were bursting with flavour and a real treat to eat.
We were mightily impressed by the Kuromitsu glazed pork belly wraps. The pork was lovely and tender, which created the perfect contrast from the crispy lettuce leaf, whilst the citrus from the orange helped cut through the fat.
I liked the modern take on the ‘seviches’ (perhaps that explains why they were spelt with an ‘s’?), particularly the tuna with pomegranate leche de tigre, maiz morado, wasabi peas and basil, but actually found the rather more simple assortment of tiraditos more impressive. Perhaps I have a slight obsession with black truffle, but the kanpachi, drizzled in yuzu, black truffle oil and sea salt, was my absolute favourite.
From the robata section, whilst the half lobster was of course very good, infused with a dash of lime and vanilla, even more impressive were both the red miso and lime lamb chops and the teriyaki fillet steak. Both kinds of meat were incredibly succulent and tender, and undeniably better value for money than the lobster when divided into four.
After all this, plus a couple of other dishes I haven’t the room to describe, we couldn’t even manage any of the ‘samba rolls’, let alone dessert. I know this is a sin, particularly for me, so I fully intend on returning to try more, hopefully on a day when we can actually enjoy the view!
Prices at SUSHISAMBA are almost as high as the restaurant itself; expect to pay between £12 and £43.50 (HKD150 and HKD550) per dish, depending on size and ingredients. Obviously most dishes are small, so by the time you’ve added on a few, plus a few rounds of cocktails and/or wine and/or sake, it certainly won’t be a cheap meal. That said, however, you are in a pretty special location, eating pretty special food, so it’s likely it’ll be worth it.
38-39/F, Heron Tower
Tel: +44 (0)203 640 7330