When you live in a city like London, saying “that’s the best Japanese restaurant in the City” it’s a bit an unfair statement. There are literally thousands of Japanese restaurants in London and it would take me a lifetime to try them all and decide which the best one is. Though it’s fair to say “this is an excellent restaurant I would highly recommend”. And this is the case of TSUNAMI.
Last weekend my “glamorous” friend Moira was passing by London during one of her travels, and she had just few hours to meet up to catch up. Knowing her, I wanted to pick a place that was relatively classy but relaxed at the same time, in a nice vibrant area and where they would serve very good food. I took a friend suggestion about Tsunami Restaurant in Clapham North, just 4 tube-stops south from Waterloo Station.
Clapham is one of the “young” areas of London: just south from the River Thames, it’s one of THE places where you want to go either for a long night out for club hopping, or on a weekend morning or afternoon for a coffee or a nice brunch. The high street has seen, in the last few years, the opening of dozens of coffee shops and nice restaurants, ranging from greasy take-aways to sophisticated cocktail bars. Tsunami perfectly blends in this environment, with a welcoming atmosphere, relaxed ambience music in the background and a very friendly staff.
The philosophy behind this restaurant is “Dishes are best enjoyed when sharing”. It’s written on the first page of the menu and the waitress reiterated it: the best way to appreciate our food is ordering different dishes and sharing them. We took the advice and ordered three starters and four mains (you will drool at the next pictures, I promise you).
The tempura prawns are definitely one of the best I have ever had. The reason? The batter: wonderfully crunchy but not hard (as often happens) and really well amalgamated with the large, fresh prawn at the core.
I will never forget the grilled scallop. It comes on fire (literally) on a bed of rock salt: they describe it as scallop with masago and creamy spicy sauce flambé’ with whisky. I describe it with one word: SUBLIME.
The salt and chilli pepper squid is soft in the inside and crispy outside, with the chilly to add that extra kick to the flavour. Add a drizzle of lemon drops on top…lovely. The funny thing is that it is prepared in a shape that reminded me Churros (look at the picture and tell me if you don’t agree! J ).
One dish was served in a hot clay pot and included rice, vegetables, rib-eye beef stripes and an egg yolk and spicy sauce that were on the side but were then mixed in front of us by the waitress and poured on top. The rice was in part nicely crunchy where in contact with clay pot, reminding me of paella. The egg yolk added creaminess, the sauce a nice strong spicyness and overall the dish truly works.
The fish selection http://www.tsunamirestaurant.co.uk/index.html with vegetables was nicely seasoned with herbs and definitely the healthiest dish among the ones we ordered. The juices were so delicious that it was a shame there was no bread to clean the plate.
My friend Moira, her friend Siobhan and I were truly delighted. And I was very pleased to share food with two girls: the man always end up eating more as they get full halfway through the meal! Not a crumb was left on our dishes, though we were so full we didn’t manage to taste any dessert.
Overall, we highly recommend this place. And even if you are not in Clapham area, you can try the more central Tsunami Restaurant in Fizrovia, in the West End. We have heard that their cocktails are something to absolutely try….we haven’t yet, so that’s a very good excuse to go and visit again!
TSUNAMI Restaurants: www.tsunamirestaurant.co.uk – 5-7 Voltaire Road, Clapham, London, SW4 6DQ, UK – reservations 0207 978 1610 – takeaway & delivery 0207 720 2922