REVIEW: Sticks’n’Sushi, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden

It’s my second time visiting this restaurant now, and one which, for a small chain i really do love. The Sticks ‘n’ Sushi concept was first conceived in Denmark. Founded 18 years ago by two brothers, Jens and Kim Rahbek, and Thor Anderson. The three brothers come from a Japanese/Danish background and somehow thought up the idea of fusing the two cuisines together. There are now ten Sticks ‘n’ Sushi restaurants in Copenhagen and two in London – one located in Wimbledon, the other in the heart of Covent Garden’s Theatreland.

When i first dined at this restaurant i had no idea what the concept would entail. Walking in to the restaurant on a cold night made this place feel, and look, stunning. Inside the decor was cool and calm – it had a sort of Armani Casa design edge to it. We quickly sat down and dived into the drinks menu. A very well selected menu of simple but tasty wines, some excellent cocktails and their own branded beers, lovingly brewed back in Denmark – they were stunning.

The food menu was the best part about this place. An extremely informative menu, with a descriptors of every dish and high quality photos showing you what to expect. Japanese food can be daunting sometimes as there is so much variety, so these menus at Sticks ‘n’ Sushi came in very handy indeed. We started off our meal with some warm edamame beans topped with some rich and spicy miso sauce. Very moorish.

Our second course quickly arrived which was a stunning salmon carpaccio topped with daikon (white radish), chives, trout roe, miso aioli and a lime dressing. The dish was mouthwateringly good and the star of the evening. Everytime i eat a salmon carpaccio elsewhere i can’t help but comparing it to this, and nothing ever quite lives up to it. I think it was the balance off all the ingredients and freshness of the salmon which took me by surprise.

The ebi bites, which were tempura shrimp, with chili, coriander, miso aioli and a squeeze of lime, were rather good. The shrimp was large and succulent, the tempura batter was light and delicate. It tasted fantastic. The chilli gave a nice bit of heat to the dish and the lime added some nice freshness and acidity.

Looking around the restaurant, i think we may have ordered a little too much for two people – but that didn’t stop us. Deciding on what to order wasn’t easy – there was so much to choose from. We decided on the uramaki (also known as inside-out rolls) black cod dragon roll. Inside the sesame seed rice roll, was some soft, miso-marinated black cod, avocado, cream cheese and unagi sauce. The rice was a little stodgy but nothing the fillings couldn’t make up, they were all very fresh.

Slowly moving on to desserts (and another beer), we opted for the selection of four tasters to get a real feel for the menu. Four separate little pots arrived. One was white chocolate, sweet miso and popped rice – a little boring and plain to be honest. Vanilla creme brulee was well executed and a chocolate fondant with hazelnut and caramel brittle filled a gap. The matcha green tea ice cream with a topping of smooth dark chocolate was the favourite but overall, desserts were a little weak.

We finished the meal with some great coffee, and left very full and on a high. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Sticks ‘n’ Sushi and couldn’t recommend it enough. The food and drink are both well priced, meaning you can eat like royalty. They have a great little bar inside so on a cold winters night, you really don’t even have to leave. It’s all about sharing here, and if you are full after the mains then skip dessert and head for the cocktails as you really won’t be missing much.

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