I have been to Yashin several times in Kensington as it was very close to our old flat but I had not got around to trying their sister restaurant, Yashin Ocean House. Now that we have moved to Fulham, Yashin Ocean House is very convenient, halfway between work and home.
My good friend Michael, who I had seen at a conference, recently asked me if we would be in London last week and if we were available for dinner, he would extend his trip and fly out the next day to hang out with us.
He loves Japanese food and since we had done 4 days of heavy duty Austrian food around Easter, our recently added 4lbs/each were yelling for some healthier fare. So, with the illusion that we would consume less calories, we chose Yashin Ocean House. What we had not consider was how tempted we would be by their 5 course set menu, and that Stewart, who tends to be the one steering away from tastings would be the one suggesting it.
What we ate:
Miso cappuccino: a classic Yashin miso soup but with a very creamy tofu foam topping.
Tuna with truffle infused ponzu jelly: this was one of our favourite dishes. Absolutely perfect slices of beautiful tuna, covered with a softer jelly that had a hint of ponzu but was primarily truffle flavoured.
Sashimi: three types of fish and perfectly fresh and good. Our waitress poured some smoke on top that created a bit of a spectacle. Mike actually lost his sashimi in the stupidly designed plate with a hole in the middle, and we struggled to fish it out.
Prawn tempura: served head to tail on a wire, with a little flask of sauce which we poured onto the plate before dragging the prawns through it. It was good but not as light as some of the tempura we had in Japan, and even though the vessel for the sauce was cute, it was slightly gimmicky.
Chargrilled Cobia: fish with miso seems to be in most menus and its good but I am a bit tired of it. The cobia was white and flaky and firm and well cooked, but a tiny bit dry. It was served on top of a mellow aubergine cream.
Omakase four: four types of nigari selected by the chef. They don’t serve anything with soy sauce and I would have liked some though it was still lovely. Their nigari is perfectly sized, not too big, which tends to be the case in some places and then it’s impossible to eat in one bite.
Roll: the roll on the menu was soft shell crab but I asked if we could change it and we picked a spicy salmon one instead. It was good but the rice was a bit too dense, as was the salmon, resulting in a roll that felt a bit heavy overall. Thankfully it was not spiced with oodles of mayo, which tragically can happen at some restaurants.
Ice cream or sorbet: we tasted different ones including green tea, sesame and yoghurt sorbet and the black sesame was by far the favourite – rich, creamy and unique.
In sum: cute décor and tasty food. A great neighbourhood option in South Kensington. The sushi is good but not as spectacular as the one at UMU, which is my current favourite spot for Japanese food lunches in London.
Yashin Ocean House http://yashinocean.com/