I never thought I’d say this, but my search for the best Japanese food in London has come to an end!
Mind you, I had to go to Bayswater to get it. The Shiori is located in a row of predominantly Greek businesses within the shadow of the great Saint Sophia Orthodox Cathedral. It’s so unassuming from the outside, I almost walked right by it.
The interior is equally modest and – from the looks of these photos – a bit hazy. But it wasn’t that noticable and we were perfectly comfortable as we sipped our sake and waited for our 8 course menu to be served. The dining style is traditional kaiseki, a series of small, artistically arranged dishes akin to Western haute cuisine.
This soup was divine. I loved sipping all the turnip broth from around the fish out of these delicate lacquered bowls.
The sashimi was amazing, served with an edible chrysanthemum shipped in fresh from Japan. The idea is to have a little nibble of it between each piece of fish to cleanse the pallet. It’s somewhat bitter, but needless to say, I finished every single petal of mine.
Next was the minced duck wrapped up in a doughy manju bun and surrounded by a viscid mushroom and yuzu gelee.
The main course was… more sushi! It was served with little brushes to glaze the finely scored tops of the fish with soy. It was truly the best I’ve had in London.
For dessert, a trio of Japanese ice creams: green tea, chestnut and black sesame.
The Shiori celebrates its one year anniversary this week. I highly recommend it for sushi worthy of an emperor. And I will be certainly be returning myself… even if does mean another journey to Bayswater.