What: Located on London’s plush Westbourne Grove, SUMI is the sister restaurant to Endo Kazutoshi’s White City Michelin-starred Endo at Rotunda that takes a more accessible and less formal approach to serving top notch sushi.
Who: Kazutoshi is a third-generation sushi master who specialises in the centuries-old Edomae style of sushi, which is a technique particular to Tokyo. The Yokohama-born chef is joined by head chef Yasuda Akinori, who was previously senior sushi chef at Zuma and head chef at noodle house Yen in the Strand.
The food: Sushi is the order of the day with SUMI sticking to serving nigiri, sashimi and temaki alongside just a handful of starters, mains and desserts. Nigiri and sashimi options include chutoro (medium fatty tuna); otoro (fatty tuna); suzuki (seabass), hamachi (yellowtail); and hotate (scallop) with a number available as aburi nigiri - a variety of sushi that involves searing ‘aburi’ style using a naked flame before serving that creates a grilled surface and creamy centre. SUMI’s temaki, which uses a technique developed by Kazutoshi’s family, includes akami – diced tuna marinated in soy and served with wasabi; sake – chopped salmon with soy and black beans; and yasai – pickled carrot and mooli radish with smoked and fermented mooli, chives and avocado with a sesame and soy dressing. There is only a choice of four mains, pick of which is the Japanese A4 wagyu sirloin that comes served with charred puntarelle and a light yuzu onion sauce. As expected, the quality of the ingredients are second to none, with fish sourced from a network of suppliers Kazutoshi knows personally.
The vibe: SUMI takes the wood theme of Endo at Rotunda and runs with it with a restaurant that has a bright but neutral colour palette of white tiling and wales and pale wood tables, chairs and panelling that chime well with the more informal nature of the venue. There’s a small counter area at which you can sit and watch the chefs in action with tables also spilling out onto the pavement thanks to the restaurant’s open frontage. As with Kazutoshi’s other restaurant, tables are hotly contested, giving the place a buzz of exclusivity.
And another thing: SUMI is named in honour of Kazutoshi’s mother.
157 Westbourne Grove, London