In case you didn’t know, sushi is my favourite dish. While some people can never say no to pizza or chocolate, my downfall is sushi. Maki, hosomaki, nigiri, temaki, gunkan… it’s all great in my book! So when blogger friend Mitra invited me as her guest for a review she was writing about Murakami, a sushi restaurant in Covent Garden that opened earlier this year, saying I was excited would be an understatement.
Our reservation was for 8:30pm on a Saturday, and while Murakami wasn’t heaving I was grateful that we had a table booked. We sat by the front window, near the door but away from the draft, which offered us a prime spot for people watching. We started the evening with prosecco, and enjoyed a full bottle over the course of our dinner.
To make the most of our evening, we decided to order many dishes to share so that we could try a good portion of the menu. We ordered everything up front, and the dishes came out in stages so that we were able to dine slowly and savour each bite.
For our first dishes we enjoyed Mixed Vegetable Rolls (cucumber, avocado, roast red pepper, asparagus, seasame seeds, spring onion, wrapped in mooli) and Yellowtail Carpaccio (ith chilli ponzu and garlic chips and chives). While the vegetable rolls were nice, the yellowtail were really stand out and cleared that plate post-haste!
The next dish to arrive was the Sashimi Salad (mixed sashimi on a bed of salad and sashimi dressing), which was really good. I enjoyed the variety of sashimi on the salad, with prawn, salmon and tuna on ours, and the mixed leaves offered a light, refreshing feel. While it came with a heaping side of wasabi, we both decided to pass on that!
When we arrived the Spicy Mango Roll (prawn tempura, crab, avocado, mando and spicy mango sauce) was recommended to us, and I’m glad we ordered it because this was probably my favourite dish of the night. I’m afraid to say my photo just doesn’t do it justice! These rolls were tight enough to hold all the ingredients together, but not so tight that they were challenging to eat. Packed with flavour and deceptively filling, I’d be happy to have this for a lunch to myself.
Mitra’s a big fan of tuna tartare and we’re both avocado lovers, so of course we weren’t going to pass up the Tuna Tartare (fresh diced tuna with avocado salsa and fried wanton). It was a bit more citrusy than we were expecting (it was even served with slivers of grapefruit!), but it was a welcome surprise that really tied the flavours together and I think we each wished we’d had our own.
Next we had the Soft Shell Crab Tempura (served with chilli, spring onion, and tatrtar sauce), which, sadly, wasn’t the best we’ve had. It was still good and were happy to finish the bowl, but I’m not sure we’d jump for this dish as quickly the next time we visit.
Another star for me was the Volcano Roll (deep fried in tempura, with salmon, tuna, avocado, tobiko, spring onion). Bursting with flavour with a great texture and crispy cucumber slices to enjoy between rolls, I was pretty much on Cloud Nine while consuming this glory. Unfortunately, at this point we were both quickly reaching full-up point so we regrettably didn’t finish it.
Lastly, we ordered an item with the grill. At the beginning of the evening we were told that everything from the grill was delicious, and we ordered the Lamb Chops (lamb chops with sweet soya sauce). Sadly there was a bit of a mixup with the order and we ended up with Rib Eye with Sweet Soya (grilles rib eye with sweet soya sauce), but I wouldn’t say that was a problem at all simply because it was handled so smoothly and professionally – and was also pretty damn tasty to boot. Ours came medium, but I’d suggest ordering medium rare.
For our final tasting we opted for sweet cocktails – in the form of Espresso Martinis – instead of dessert. As far as cocktails go these were pretty standard in that standards done well way, so I sipped mine slowly to enjoy for as long as possible.
Overall I’d say Murakami is a solid 7/10. For me it’s on the pricey side for a typical weekday lunch (I’d save it for a payday special!), but it’s in the right price points – and with the right chilled out-yet-attentive vibes (sounds contradictory, but you’ll know what I mean if you go!) – for a date night or dinner with friends. Though some of the dishes are stronger than others, on the whole I found everything to be delightful. I’d be more than happy to go again, and have already asked a few friends (and Jeff, of course!) when they’re next available to entertain my sushi addiction.
Please note: while the experience in this blog post was a gift, the views expressed are my own.