Monday, April 17, 2023

Namaiki - New Japanese Omakase Restaurant in Soho(London)

Namaiki london omakase
I heard about the opening of Namaiki, a new sushi omakase restaurant in Soho, and was really excited to try it out. After being away from Singapore and travelling in Europe for 7 months, and not having any sushi at all, I kinda felt that my best bet at having decent sushi would be in London. I made a reservation a few weeks in advance for their lunch omakase on 31st Jan via their instagram page after knowing that the chef at the helm is from Japan.
I arrived early and was ushered to a waiting area at the back, where I was offered green tea or water.

I was really excited to take my seat at the counter, alongside 3 other diners, and while the chef can't really converse in English, one of the staff is fluent in both English and Japanese and was translating for us. I was pleased to know that the chef knows some of the top chefs in a few of the sushi-yas that I have been to in Tokyo. 

Namaiki london omakase lunch menu
Lunch menu : 48 pounds before service charge, 55.2 pounds after
Namaiki london omakase lunch
I honestly wasn't a fan of this edamame with mashed tofu

Namaiki london omakase lunch price
The chutoro nigiri was my favourite item of the day. It was less fatty than most chutoro I have had but it was still pretty tasty. It was coated with a light soy glaze which complemented the fish brilliantly, and accentuated its natural flavours.

Namaiki london lunch omakase 
The Saiko-yaki with Black Cod was, no doubt, one of the best items on the menu. Firm, and sweet, the cod was cooked well and every bite was delicious.

Namaiki london omakase sushi omakase lunch
The first nigiri was a salmon sushi which I forgot to take a photo of. And the second piece was ika.

Namaiki london omakase new restaurant
Miso soup

Namaiki london omakase sushi lunch
Hand roll #1

Namaiki london omakase soho
Hand roll #2
Overall, I felt that the rice for the nigiri and the hand rolls was under-seasoned, and its texture could use some work.

Namaiki london omakase
I have eaten probably hundreds of chirashi don/ kaisendon in my life and this is the first time I've come across one presented in this manner and also with these ingredients. I was a little surprised, and genuinely wasn't impressed. It was decent, for sure, but I think the flavours weighed more on the salty side and did not highlight the fish at all. The mix of flavours were quite confusing to be honest, and while the lotus root added a crunch, its presence was quite redundant in my opinion. And again, the rice could be better. 
For 48 pounds, the portion is quite alright and the lunch omakase is quite good value for money given Namaiki's location, I'm a fairly big eater so I was still a little hungry after, but I believe the portion should be good for most. As there were only 4 of us at lunch, I think the chef was quite nervous about the speed of pushing out the dishes so he was actually really quick(probably didn't want us to think he was being slow or something) and lunch concluded in a really short time. This was really the fastest sushi lunch omakase I have ever been to. Lunch started at 130pm, and by 159pm, the chirashi was served.
Namaiki was really new when I popped by so they probably were still collecting feedback from diners and ironing out operational issues. Really hope that the food is better now, especially when they import most of their ingredients directly from Japan. Based on my experience, I probably would not return. Their dinner menu looks quite interesting though, so you might want to give that a try!

14 Broadwick St, London W1F 8HP

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