Monday, 4 October 2010

Sasa Sushi review - Angel's Japanese restaurant let down by its location


Address: 422 St John Street,
London EC1V 4NJ
Tel: 020 7837 1155
Nearest Tube station: Angel

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £15 pp
Service charge: 10%
Taste: **
Service: **
Ambience: ***
Sasa Sushi is usually one of the first places where I bring visitors to. Not because it serves fabulous food but because it’s a mere minute’s walk from Angel Tube station and you’ll generally get seats at the Japanese restaurant – even for Friday and Saturday nights without having a prior reservation.

You mean it’s that bad?

Not really for Sasa Sushi does have its fans. The mother-in-law of a friend of mine who stayed over in London for a couple of months was gushing about how value for money Sasa Sushi’s lunch bento set (£10.50) is. By that, I assume that she was referring to quantity and not quality.

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For starters, the staff at Sasa Sushi aren’t Japanese. Fine, that’s stereotyping but I strongly believe that this does apply specifically to Japanese restaurants. The Japanese has got this thing about perfection and service which transcends to their food. At least that’s what I have observed thus far.

Enough rhetoric, let’s talk food

Wife ordered the tempura udon (£8.50) and as usual she requested the tempura to be set aside from the udon. The waitress didn’t seem to understand that. Another staff, whom I can only assume to be the head waiter, overheard Wife’s request and replied, ”all our tempura is set aside.” What bliss.

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While she didn’t find Sasa Sushi’s tempura udon fabulous, it was comparable to Tenshi’s. Of course, it can’t be compared to Koya’s. Still unconvinced, we looked over at JM who started tucking into his order.

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JM’s expression after taking a morsel of tori karage (£9.50) said it all. “I’ve not tasted a karage saltier than this,” he mumbled. He pointed his chopsticks at it and asked me to try it. I bit into a piece and all I could taste was flour and salt, not even chicken. Incidentally, we had a fabulous karage at Necco just a day earlier. That tasted way better and is going for only half the price.

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My katsu don (£8) was decent I must say. The layer of egg was still runny, which is the way I like it. Portion of pork was generous and not too tough. But it can do with less salt really.

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The softshell crab roll was one of the better ones that I have tried. While the rolls that I had at Tenshi is flavoured primarily by soy sauce, Sasa Sushi’s came across as more subtle. There is of course horseradish if you would like to add some kick to it. The lightly deep fried softshell crab was not too compactly rolled in either.

Sasa Sushi vs Tenshi

So how does Sasa Sushi measure up to Tenshi, the only other Japanese restaurant serving Angel Islington? While Tenshi, which is fully staffed by Japanese, thrives on service, the quality of food (or at least the dishes that I have tried) is actually comparable to Sasa Sushi’s.

Although Tenshi is at a better location, right smacked in the middle of a hosts of other restaurants, Sasa Sushi with its larger floor space offers a better ambience. My verdict? Head to Sasa Sushi if you’re not in a hurry. Now, if only they can cut down on their salt.

Sa Sa Sushi on Urbanspoon

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1 comment:

Ute@HungryinLondon said...

Good idea to compare these two!
I had better food at Sasa Sushi than Tenshi actually, I thought the sushi was really quite decent there. But also had problem with my yakisoba being completely over-salted.
Both nothing to write home about but perfectly decent for a quick bite I think.