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|Address:||26 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4HY|
|Tel:||020 3641 5822|
|Price: £61.00||Wine: £30.00||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-2.45pm Mon-Sat 6pm-11.30M (Sun -10.30pm)|
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In trying to complete the circumnavigation of London’s finest Japanese eateries the annual recognition of Mrs J’s birthday presented another opportunity to go boldly where no doubt many, but not the two of us, had gone before. Some positive feedback on the research front led me to book Sumosan, great location, quirky website. With the portent well heeded regarding some of the price levels, we stepped off a rain drenched Albemarle Street into the cosy, bustling atmos of the restaurant and headed straight down to the ‘jbar’ (“a valuable addition to the Mayfair bar scene” according to the quirky website). That it may be but on a Thursday night before 9pm we had the place exclusively to ourselves. No matter, an interesting and tempting cocktail list, followed through with some slick execution. Upstairs they were certainly packing them in and once our neighbour had given up using my chair as a footstool we took to the table. Statutory order of edamame, this time with added cracked black pepper an chilli, seemed to absent in the former and abundant in the latter but was a bit tricky as the chilli came in sauce like guise rather than a dry style which I had imagined. The menu is pretty standard fare for any given modern Japanese with the exception of a couple of the dishes involving foie gras or truffle oil. Commencing with a staple of Tuna Tataki and Rock Shrimp Tempura, the tataki was flavoursome but too thinly cut for my liking, the RST was spot on. We then had a roller coaster ride through the Sushi / Sashimi menu which had highs of Fried Hamachi roll, fried toro ponzu nigiri – an exquisite mouthful, and firm and fleshy Tai (Sea bream) sashimi and lows which included a very pedestrian and cumbersome soft shell crab sushi roll. To the side some vegetable tempura, all priced and selected per piece; good if you like an asparagus spear not so good if you are a carrot person. The tempura itself passed muster with a good light batter enveloping the veg . Rounding off the savoury section was our lone choice of a main course, not really wanted but curiosity got the better of me and I really wished it hadn’t; Turbot on a bed of Cauliflower & Broccoli risotto. Sounds inviting and promising, like the prospect of a strip of raffle tickets at the school fair, where a small outlay good reap a big reward, but sadly this dish shouldn’t even make the tombola or the lucky dip as it seemed the fish was completely out of sorts with the rather mushy and quite cold risotto. We couldn’t complete the dish, part struggle with the dish, part sufficiency in the quantum already consumed. Overall the food is pretty good here even if some of the invention doesn’t work, the service was a mixed bag; the waitress seemed completely disinterested in her job (or us; we elected for (a) been in the job too long and doesn’t care or (b) hasn’t been in the job long enough and hasn’t got a clue) but the more senior floor staff did a very attentive job. I can’t see us sporting galoshes to head out on another rain swept London night to go back to Sumosan, mainly because it seemed so average and at around £100 each with no wine and a staggering 15% service charge – presumably some IT cost built in, felt even for Mayfair to be a touch lumpy, and so the journey continues…