Sumi: Notting Hill’s Newest Sushi Restaurant
By Pendle Harte
Notting Hill’s newest sushi restaurant is super stylish, expensive and buzzing. There’s terrace seating outside on Westbourne Grove, and inside it’s all blonde wood and Japandi style minimalism. We’re sitting at the back and something about the heatwave, the exciting menu and the novelty of eating out is creating an atmosphere where diners talk to people at neighbouring tables. Everybody seems especially friendly, and eager to share thoughts about the food.
And this food is pretty special (and also pretty pricey). Sumis is little sister to the Michelin-starred Endo at the Rotunda and the focus is on authentic yet inventive Japanese food, with an emphasis on pretty presentation. First off we have cocktails: the house cocktail is Kawaii Ne, a foamy and unusually delicious blend of sake, gin, peach lychee and yuzu that comes with a flower on top. Our feast starts with sesame seaweed salad and edamame, both elegantly and neatly presented. Mushroom gohan comes in its own small lidded casserole and is served for us with some ceremony, attracting interest from neighbouring tables. It’s a sort of Japanese risotto, with exotic mushrooms and a crusty bottom layer. Flavours are intense and satisfying, as are our temaki dishes: we choose diced scallop with hanahokiso flowers, soy and salt, plus pickled carrot and mooli radish with smoked and fermented mooli, chives and sesame and soy dressing. Temaki comes as a single, finely crafted and geometric roll, beautiful but technically tricky to share. Chopped yellowtail temaki comes topped with mioga-shiso, white sesame and soy, a flawless fusion of sweet and salty.
There are two puddings on the menu; we order both. Matcha mille is a bright green soft layered cake with a texture somewhere between sponge and mousse, while Sumi ice cream is slightly sandy with an intriguing sesame flavour. With food like this, Sumi is set for great things, and Notting Hill’s locals clearly won’t let the prices put them off.
Sumi, 157 Westbourne Grove, W11