Sushi Tetsu


A traditional Japanese Sushi Bar, called Sushi Tetsu, opened last month in London. Tucked in a cobbled alleyway in Clerkenwell, it has already caused sensation among food bloggers and writers, who are racing to be among the first to review it.

I happen to work one minute away from this little gem. I often walk through Jerusalem Passage on my way to Exmouth Market and months ago I noticed a sign on the door, announcing that a new sushi place was opening soon. For some reason, I expected a chain, a Wasabi or Abokado style shop. I didn’t think too much of it and didn’t bother check it again.

Until one day my friend Erik started posting Instagrams of Sushi Tetsu at a nearly daily rate, then I knew this place was something special. So when he organised a visit with our common friends Cherry and Wendy, I decided to join the trio for lunch.

Stepping in the tiny restaurant, I immediately felt transported back to Tokyo, which I visited in 2009. Sushi Tetsu can accommodate only 7 people at the bar (there are no tables). Behind the counter, chef Toru Takahashi prepares everything in front of your eyes, chat with the customers and recommends the best dishes. His wife Harumi moves around the tiny space, serving the guests.

Chef Toru has a vision of bringing a relaxed sushi experience to the hidden alleyways of Clerkenwell, London. Nicknamed ‘Tetsu’ when an apprentice working in Kobe, his belief is to source the finest ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes, whilst making a connection with each of his diners. For the best Sushi experience, leave your dining in his hands. [quote from the official website]

The menu focuses on sushi and sashimi, with a choice of single dishes or set menus. The food is sourced daily from Billingsgate Market (or sometimes even shipped directly from Japan). I chose Lunch Set A (£9.80), which included three pieces of Salmon avocado roll, one Tuna nigiri, one Salmon nigiri and one Shrimp nigiri. With a pot of tea and service, I spent a total of £15.

The rolls and nigiri are brushed with homemade soy sauce or vinegar, as required, and presented on a wet bamboo leaf. The six pieces of my set menu were served at different times, as they get prepared by the chef. I had to be patient and eat slowly, but rather than finding this annoying, it improved my experience and made it even more enjoyable.

If your knowledge of Japanese food only goes as far as Yo Sushi, then you might find Sushi Tetsu expensive. But it really isn’t if you consider the quality of the food, the service and the overall experience that you get. I am definitely keen in going back to try a bigger variety of dishes. Before the whole of London discover it and it will be then impossible to book a seat!

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  • Reply Laura {This City Life London} 18/07/2012 at 16:27

    Now I’m not much of a sushi fan (raw fish just doesn’t appeal) but this place sounds intriguing!

    Great pictures too!

    • Reply mondomulia 18/07/2012 at 16:40

      All I know is that I like California Rolls, so clearly I am no expert here and hence I left the food review to real connoisseurs (as usual, my focus is the photography). But I would recommend Sushi Tetsu to anyone, the experience in itself is worth the money!

  • Reply wendee 18/07/2012 at 18:47

    It was such a great lunch though we didn’t venture as much as Cherry! Thanks for the mention! Great photos as usual!

  • Reply Sylvia 18/07/2012 at 19:12

    Your beautiful photos makes me want to pay it another visit soon! Thanks for the mention! :)

  • Reply Milli Taylor (@MillisKitchen) 19/07/2012 at 18:14

    Your photos as usual are gorgeous, take me with you next time!

    • Reply mondomulia 20/07/2012 at 16:06

      Thank you Milli, I can take you anytime if you are free at lunch time! :)

  • Reply Tetsu Sushi – possibly the best sushi bar in London | The F- World 20/07/2012 at 16:05

    […] say I did actually “find” Sushi Tetsu, as I was pointed there by the great reviews by friend Mulia and by the always reliable Andy Hailer. Opened in July 2012, this very little (7-seats) place in […]

  • Reply joe 20/07/2012 at 23:13

    We must work very close! I am in Clerkenwell Workshops and have been meaning to eat here for a while now, I went in to say hello, it looked like a lovely place. Lovely photographs as always, thanks for the review!

  • Reply Sushi Tetsu (London) « De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum 23/07/2012 at 19:03

    […] Mulia è forte come fotografa, quindi vi rimando direttamente alla sua pagina per le immagini del ristorante e dei piatti conscia del fatto che io, al contrario, sono totalmente negata per le foto. E visto che entrambe […]

  • Reply A new gem… Sushi Tetsu | Dish Piglets 19/08/2012 at 18:55

    […] We got to sit by the bar and saw Chef Toru’s every move. It’s a pity that I did not bring my camera with me but I had my trustworthy iPhone to document the amazing lunch. You have to check out Giulia’s photos and blog post here. […]

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