Victoria Purcell gets a little giddy over the arrival of Sticks ‘n’ Sushi in Greenwich…
Greenwich, it’s a long time since you have given us a restaurant to get excited about. The last time I counted down the days until opening was for Jamie’s Italian. Sure, we’ve got our established favourites, but when that cluster of chains arrived by Greenwich Pier there was an audible sigh of discontent.
But the arrival of Sticks ‘n’ Sushi made me practically giddy with excitement. I’ve probably harped on at you before about my years in Japan, and apart from the cheap-and-cheerful Tokyo Diner in Soho, eating Japanese food in London has been an expensive disappointment for years.
Fortunately, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi is a den of Danish-Japanese excellence. Big in Denmark and with branches in Wimbledon and Covent Garden, the restaurant is inspired by founders Kim and Jens Rahbek’s half-Japanese, half-Danish background. Together with Thor Andersen, they have delivered two culinary traditions in one restaurant – sushi and yakitori (the latter being, essentially, meat on sticks).
The place is cool. There’s a small bar space at the front where you can work your way through the list of sake, Japanese beers and cocktails. The itself restaurant has two personalities – at the front it’s all sleek dark wood, channelling the spirit of a Japanese pub, and towards the back the décor takes on a cool, contemporary Danish hue with eggshell tiles, tables and chairs frame the busy, open kitchen.
The menu is vast, with Japanese-style salads and small dishes for sharing as well as oodles of sushi, sashimi and sticks options. If it’s all too much, ask the friendly staff for advice, or go with a set menu. After a miso soup and edamame beans, we ordered a huge plate of sushi, the highlights being the Spicy Tuna Roll (tuna, spicy sauce and cucumber rolled in Japanese seasoning) and the Formidable Roll (avocado and cucumber tossed in sesame, topped with salmon tartare and trout roe). Everything was a fresh as can be – sharp veg, crisp tempura, great fish and pretty near perfect sushi rice.
On to the sticks. We tried the scallop in teriyaki (which I didn’t love – perhaps scallops and teriyaki are not natural bedfellows?), the absolutely out-of-this-world miso-marinated black cod and two sticks of beef, one with miso herb butter and one with crunchy chilli and garlic. The beef is so melt-in-the-mouth, I wondered if they’d slipped some Kobe beef in there and forgotten the £80 price tag. Team your dining experience with a sparkling sake and this place is an absolute delight.
Set menus from £17pp, sushi and sticks prices vary
A relaxed, shared dining experience with friends
What to eat…
Try some of the smaller dishes like kimuchi as sides
What to know…
For a cosy experience, eat at the front of the restaurant; for more of a buzz, eat by the open kitchen
1 Nelson Road, Greenwich SE10 9JB; 020 3141 8220; sticksnsushi.com