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76-77 Watling Street
The main attraction at Kurumaya is keenly priced sushi, so pitch up at the ground-floor bar for a quick fix from the short kaiten menu or venture down to the basement dining room – a compact,
unadorned space offering the choice of traditional tatami (shoes off) or more conventional western seating. A broad range of raw fish ranges from top nigiri (toro tuna, sea urchin, tako octopus) to
sashimi and temaki hand rolls: opt for a chef’s selection if indecision gets the better of you. Hot dishes run from deliciously light tempura, teppanyaki and robata grills with teriyaki sauce to
donburi rice bowls – perhaps thinly sliced beef or succulent eel with a potent umami kick. Beers include Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo; otherwise, saké, umeshu (plum wine) and shochu are additions to
the short wine list. Pleasant service runs at a stately pace.
76-77 Watling Street
Mansion House Tube Station 196m
St. Paul's Tube Station 278m
Painters' Hall 177m
Mercers' Hall 196m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
When is Japanese food not Japanese food? This isn’t a question from a specialist philosophy paper, but more an observation about how much of the Japanese dining scene in London has seemingly morphed into what has been dictated as ‘cool’ and instantly Instagram-able by many trend-setters. If, however, you’re looking for authenticity (and the antithesis of a venue such as Sushi Samba), then consider Kurumaya. Located on one of the oldest streets in the City of London, Kurumaya has a long pedigree and a head chef who has been making sushi for over 25 years. Pass the take-away pit-stop on the top floor and descend to the basement for an experience which may not seem out of place in Tokyo. Beyond the stark and austere decoration, the wood and lacquer finishes and the prominent sushi counter, there is even a room replete with tatami mats, for those who want to go the whole hog here. Onto the food, and it is broadly what one might expect: a raw fish range (sushi and sashimi) followed by an offering of more substantial mains. The emphasis is on locally sourced produce, prepared to the highest standards. Both our sushi platter and our chirashi (meaning ‘scattered around’) bowl of fish on a bed of rice had that amazing sense of freshness, so much so that one could almost taste the sea. The presentation showed the fish off to its best effect, a vividly hewed rainbow spectrum. Meanwhile, a beef teriyaki main was comparable to similar offerings sampled in Japan, with pungent beef paired against bean sprouts. Pricing was not cheap, but then it is rarely is for Japanese food. Perhaps the best indicator of the success of the venue was simply how busy it was. This is a well-kept secret worth seeking out.
Food + drink: 4
Came here with friends for dinner on a Monday. Restaurant wasn't too crowded, wait staff were attentive and the food/wine were excellent.
I regularly pop in to Kurumaya during my lunch break due to my fondness of the sushi and sashimi there. I've always found the fish fresh, the sushi well made and dishes well presented.
My only gripe would be the queues at times to get served but I can't really moan at the fact they are busy!
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