Restaurant Review: Sumi, Notting Hill, London

Past guests of Endo Kazutoshi’s Michelin-starred Endo at Rotunda will likely recognize something family-like in its “sister” Sumi. However, this inviting Japanese restaurant is the opposite of Endo as it is a relative.

There are no vaulted ceilings and the food theater is rebuilt right away: in a warm and quiet setting, Sumi’s friendly service and delicious food are the stars of the show.

Sumi sat at one end of a short parade of restaurants on tree-lined Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. Named after Endo’s mother, it’s chic from the outside and cozy on the inside – all with golden wood and soft lighting. The only potential in-store shock to diners is the chorus of “Irasshaimase!” along with that, the entire staff greets guests upon entry; or shouts of “Hello!” as the chef accepts new orders from the waiting staff.


Your perception of this will vary depending on where you sit: 40 cards are divided between short counters that span the narrow length of the restaurant and a number of tables and chairs grouped at either end.

The interior of the restaurant 40 covers

Head out to the back and you’ll be closer to a dedicated cocktail bar; If, like me and my dining partner, you’re lucky enough to sit on one of the four stools across from the chef’s table at Sumi’s entrance, you’ll be witness to the masterful art of of chefs – and organized conversations – throughout your meal.

Here, you can get a close-up look at the giant pink tuna that lie in the ice, from which the perfect sashimi pieces will be meticulously carved; or maybe the glistening pieces of salmon diced into curved nori pieces for a taco-like temaki.

Two of Sumi & # 039; s taco-like & # 039; temaki & # 039; option

The most satisfying thing to watch is the assembly of the nigiri, each thumb-sized piece of rice, shaped by hand like a confection and then covered with thin blankets of sea bass, yellowtail, and salmon. – you can name it – each piece of meat is fishy with a light swipe of wasabi glued on its underside.

Before being served, much of this seafood will be lightly graded with the chefs’ shiny knives, as possible to retain the marinade they applied. Watching it all unfold is a special pleasure and certainly enhances my appreciation of ordering food menu.


With the help of Sumi’s welcoming and knowledgeable wait staff, it’s not difficult at all to pick a good sushi set, and it’s really hard to pick out what stands out thanks to the sheer quality of the ingredients. and beautiful presentation.

From our seaweed salad starter – zinging with ginger and crunchy with chopped almonds – we move on to five types of sashimi artfully arranged on their bed of shaved ice, swirling slices of sea bass dark pink to salty white, scallops topped with the scent of a sansho pepper leaf.

Our nigiri selections are served in order from leanest to fattest, culminating in the saltiness of salmon roe and the indomitable otoro – the fatty tuna belly. On request, Sumi will provide this cut as an aburi – its top edge is crispy with a bare flame – so that its ocean floor crust is enriched with the smell of earth smoke.

A selection from the nigiri menu, served with ginger, mustard and soy sauce

In my case, the delicacy was then placed directly in the palm of my hand, topped with a small sphere of wasabi and sprinkled with grated black truffles, along with the command to smash the batch back in a shot to fish. directly on the tongue. The depth of these mouthwatering flavors makes this delicacy a treat that will make you smile when you have to try it.

Plus, our sea urchin nigiri is delicious – an off-seasonal menu option – whose fresh, irresistible flavor evokes the serene, clear salt water of a rocky seaside pool. In fact, with the exception of my “hot” scallop temaki (which I found a bit dominated by wasabi), every dish shines with a careful balance of delicate flavors – right up to dessert matcha mille crepe, a milky delicacy cut with crisp creme fraiche.

Sumi's Milky Matcha Mille Dessert & # 039;


Make no mistake, for all of Sumi’s casual feel and ‘casual’ brand, it’s not easy on the wallet, with our meals (including our Asahi beer) averaging around ££ 70 per person before service charge. But empirically, the cost is more than justifiable, especially if you can get a seat at the chef’s table.

For me, real cost is the standard that Sumi has set: I fear I will rarely be satisfied with sushi from anywhere else.

Sumi, 157 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RS; Restaurant Review: Sumi, Notting Hill, London

Fry Electronics Team

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