The best way to describe a night at Sushisamba in London… wow.
In merely 500 words, I won’t be able to give justice to the experience. It’s simply marvelous and a sort of unparalleled perfection that you only get to experience every now and then.
It was a swift move for Kikkoman, the beloved soy sauce brand, to partner with London’s leading sushi restaurant to debut their latest products.
Very clever. This genius move would set the tone for an excellent night to follow.
The evening started on the 39th floor with a soy sauce cocktail in the Sushisamba bar.
The Kikkoman Reserve, bourbon, cherry, chocolate, soy and ginger. It’s definitely a heavier cocktail than I’m used to, but the unique flavours were one to try without a doubt.
Following sipping on cocktails and mingling with the other guests, we moved into the private dining room. Exquisite.
As we gathered, we learned a little more about soy sauces from the spokesman for Kikkoman who taught us about the different flavours and how not all soy sauces are the same. Ignorantly, I’d never given it much thought, but once we did our taste test, I now feel confident about my soy sauce knowledge!
Soy sauce tasting is called ‘Kikimi’ and explores the four criteria that are most important: colour, viscosity, smell and taste. I’ve even taken away the fun facts that you can break out at your next sushi party.
Kikimi – Japanese Soy Sauce Tasting with Kikkoman
Naturally brewed soy sauce will be transparent with a reddish brown colour, like the ones we tried from Kikkoman. Chemically will be murky, dark and almost black. You can test it out by using a white dipping plate to tell the differences.
Soy sauce naturally brewed is easy to swirl, like tasting a wine. And the soy sauce won’t stick to the end of chopsticks.
Swirling natural soy sauce enriches it with oxygen, which has positive effects on the bouquet (it really is like a wine tasting!) The Kikkoman version we tried has around 300 aroma compounds. The smell changes when exposed to the air, it’s natural. Chemically produced soy sauce will always smell the same.
There are two ways to taste soy sauce, with your finger or with a spoon. At Sushisamba, we dipped our spoons in to taste it out. The big conclusion? The table hands down preferred the Kikkoman version (totally our own opinions, it really was better). I couldn’t help but be completely blown away. There’s such a difference.
After our newfound education, we settled in for a night of tasting, enjoying and sharing.
We started with Aperitivos of Edamame and Maiz Cancha.
I always love starting a meal with Edmame, but what came next throughout the evening was unbelievable.
Small plates & raw bar
- Crispy Wagyu Taquitos with avocado and shichimi mayo. Bite size morsels of heaven. Any version of tacos is a win in my books.
- Bolinhos de Bacalhau, cod, lime and shichimi togarashi mayo, aji amarillo, purple peruvian potato. This was unexpected and lovely.
- Tuna seviche, pomegranate leche de tigre, maiz morado, wasabi peas, basil. I have a hard time getting on board with ceviche, but the flavours in this were incredibly complex that even I went for a second small bite. Although, I don’t have a photo of it…
From the small, we progressed to the Robata, which is a type of charcoal grill used in Japanese cooking.
- Poussin, Kikkoman soy teriyaki japanese-style mayonnaise, yuzu kosho. The fish was so masterfully presented, we all dove for a photo immediately.
- Hamachi Kama, lime, Kikkoman soy su-shoyu. The chicken was delicious, we all polished the plate off within a matter of moments. That’s what happens with hungry journalists and bloggers in the room!
For the final main, we were presented with the large plates.
- Churrasco Rio Grande, ribeye, chorizo, wagyu picanha. Wow. Again, just wow. This dish was beyond delicious. If it sounds like I can’t stop raving about this meal, it’s because I can’t. You can’t find a flaw with Sushisamba, you just can’t.
- Coconut Rice and chives. You’ll taste this thinking it will be sweet. It’s not. But it is very good.
- Peruvian Corn, micro coriander. This was warm and a slightly reminiscent of an exotic rice pudding.
If you thought at this point our meal would be over, you’d be completely wrong.
By this time in the evening, the sun had set, the sky was starting to become illuminated with stars. It was time for a genuine highlight of the evening and putting the Kikkoman soy sauce to the test. Bring on the sushi.
- Assorted Nigiri, yellowtail, salmon, shrimp
- Ezo, soy-marinated salmon, asparagus, onion, chives, sesame, tempura crunch, soy paper, wasabi mayonnaise
- Tokyo Sky Tree, spicy bigeye tuna, tempura cruch, lotus root, aji panca, spicy mayo
Ever since I tried sushi, I’ve been hooked and Sushisamba in London is one of the best places you’ll get to try it. Unparalleled views just happen to enhance the experience 39 floors up in the city of London.
And oh my, of course we had to hold on for dessert.
- Chocolate Banana Cake, maple butter, plantain chip, vanilla run ice cream. I *think* I tried to lick the bowl.
It was such a beautiful evening, meeting new people, exploring new dishes. I’d never thought too much about soy sauce and the ingredients that I’ve been using until that point. Just the fact that I really, really liked to douse my sushi in it. Now, it’s interesting to know more about the products that I’m investing in for cooking.
And post event? I’ve actually been cooking up a storm! I’m a new fan of the Teriyaki Sauces.
Stay tuned into my Instagram stories, where I’ve been sharing my limited cooking skills too with Kikkoman’s new Teriyaki range.
Thanks again to Kikkoman for inviting me for a brilliant evening, and to the Sushisamba crew for as always, a fantastic feast.
PS. I was invited by Kikkoman to this event with Sushisamba, but all opinions, views and photos are mine. Seriously, I am a soy sauce expert now guys.