nizuni, london

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really good japanese in charlotte street. very reasonably priced too.

we started with the agedashi tofu which unusually came with hard pressed tofu – instead of the usual silken tofu – encased in a crispy but stretchy batter in a broth that was just so tasty. it would have done much better with silken tofu though, there’s just something transcendental about balancing too-fragile quivering tofu on chopsticks while trying to get as much broth as possible. this was followed by ika karaage – or fried squid – accompanied with a sort-of wasabi dip. this was quite nice, though the squid was a little too dry from being a bit too small. (we still haven’t found any squid dish that beats busaba eathai’s)

i wished that i knew how to say mayonnaise such that they could understand me, as the wasabi dip was unsatisfying – not nearly creamy enough or strong enough – and I just know mayonnaise would have done the job.

the soft-shell crab roll was amazing. clean-tasting, with a strong aroma of toasted sesame seeds that complemented the crisp crab. complete harmony here. we had a chirashi and an unaju for mains, and both were so good. silky, fresh-sweet raw fish and silky barbecued eel on al-dente rice, accompanied by some untraditional – but much-appreciated – garnishes of pickles, tamago, a quail’s egg and a potato croquette that I wished I could have eaten forever. it was crisp but the potato was oh-so-fluffy inside.

a very good meal, at a price that I’m very much be willing to return for. it may not be completely traditional, but those small twists are so delightful.

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