I’ve been to Sticks’n’Sushi in Covent Garden before, back in November 2013 when it first opened and had a fantastic lunch. This time, it was for dinner and I was with 2 dining companions. It was just after 5:30pm on a mid-week evening and the place was already filling up quickly. Word has definitely gotten out that this is one of the top restaurants in Covent Garden, so reservations are recommended. They serve some of the best sushi around and whilst it can be relatively expensive to eat there, the superior quality of the food definitely justifies the price.
Located on Henrietta Street, Sticks’n’Sushi’s presence and signage are understated, which makes it a bit of a find…in a good way! Once inside, the ambience is welcoming and staff are super friendly. The décor is impressive, with stripped back walls showing exposed brick, functional chairs, super soft leather sofas and leather-topped tables. There is also a downstairs area, with stools at the sushi bar. The whole atmosphere is fun and convivial, but it also works for couples or even solo diners.
All of our servers throughout the evening had such a fun and positive attitude and they all worked well as a team. Their t-shirts with random Danish words translated into English is a clever idea. I also loved the fact that they exclaimed ‘namasté’ each time customers enter the establishment, which lent some joviality to the ambience. The menus can be quite daunting but the servers are very helpful in this regard and have no trouble explaining it all to you. The set menu is the easiest way to go, if you are having trouble choosing from the à la carte menu.
Our drinks orders were Japanese beers (Ichiban and Asahi) and I couldn’t resist trying one of their cocktails, the Kiyuri Delight with soft tones of elderflower and sake, topped with Prosecco and served with cucumber. Very enjoyable!
One of my dining companions recommended the edamame beans, which I had never tried before. We chose the spicy version, which was served warm with a zesty miso dip. I am now an edamame convert! The beans were tasty as well as fun to eat. They came with a little basket to discard the pods and a wet cloth to clean our hands.
The 3 of us decided to share one of the platters from the set menu and chose the Four Meal Drive, which consisted of nigiri – 4 tuna, 4 salmon, 4 shrimp, 4 seared salmon with sansho pepper and tsume soy, and 4 inari, which is tofu with ginger, shitake and sesame.
The tuna, salmon and shrimp were extremely fresh. It was the first time I tried the seared salmon and the tofu and they were just gorgeous!
The Four Meal Drive also came with soy, wasabi and ginger and included the following urumaki / inside out rolls: 8 black Alaska (salmon, cream cheese and avocado rolled in black flying fish roe; 8 dreamy California (miso aïoli, surimi, avocado, cucumber rolled in sesame, seaweed, poppy seeds, chilli and shiso); 8 sparkling tuna (tuna, spicy sauce, leeks and cucumber rolled in red flying fish roe); and 8 mamma mia (avocado and cucumber rolled in chives and wasabi sesame).
If these ingredients sound delicious it’s because they were! The combination of flavours and spices was original and coupled with the freshest fish and vegetables, the urumaki rolls were a real winner!
Sticks’n’Sushi have an impressive dessert menu. They offer little bites of tasty and original creations. The Small & Sweet option includes 2 or 3 of the following: a ball of white chocolate with sweet miso and popped rice (absolutely delicious but the dollop of chocolate sauce underneath the ball is a bit useless as it hardens before you have the chance to dip the ball into it); a ball of dark chocolate with caramel and lightly roasted sesame (my favourite!); and a raw food cake with organic brazil nuts, dates, coconuts, orange, cacao, goji berries, matcha tea, spirulina (a microalga), cardamom and cinnamon. My dining companion had the raw cake and his opinion was the same as mine when I originally tried this dessert: too much going on in terms of flavours and a heavy texture, much like a fruitcake. Good if you like fruitcake, but I don’t. Also, the photo of this dessert option on the menu is a bit deceiving, as it shows 3 of each option, for a total of 9. You only get 1 of each, which is fine but the photo is confusing.
The Four Tasters dessert option includes the same ball of white chocolate with sweet miso and popped rice as in Small & Sweet; vanilla crème brûlée (could have been a bit creamier but the vanilla seeds were lovely); chocolate fondant with caramel hazelnut brittle (decadent!); and yuzu sorbet with lime (I tasted this one last but left it, as the flavour did not go with the rest of the other options).
My other dining companion had the Marcel Chocolate Cake, with chocolate tuille and crunchy sugar tossed in matcha tea. It was served with a scoop of Jacob & Jakob ice cream from Denmark with Vava’u vanilla. He thought the whole dessert was decadent and delicious.
Sticks’n’Sushi is a Danish company and has proven its success in Copenhagen at a string of locations there. They are replicating the formula of freshly prepared food, high quality ingredients and excellent service in London, first at Wimbledon and most recently at this location in Covent Garden. Based on my experiences so far, they are definitely succeeding. Sticks’n’Sushi is a welcome addition to the sushi scene as well as the restaurant scene in general. I must make a point of trying their ‘sticks’ (meat, fish or vegetables on a stick) next time!
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
Unless otherwise noted, I am the legal copyright holder of the content and images on this blog. Please contact me for permission if you wish to use, reprint or publish any material.