Do you ever find when you can’t have something you want it even more? That’s what I’m finding with sushi right now. I’m obsessed.
Images of floating Sashimi dipped in the lightest salty soy sauce and searing heat of wasabi are dancing in my mind and I’m dreaming of Temaki, with its crispy salmon skin and tempting delights poking out the to tease me. Don’t even talk to me about Nigiri!
So, with this in mind I thought a writing therapy session was in order to soothe my tortured cravings. Here’s my pick of where to eat Sushi for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after drinks for the ultimate sushi marathon and sightseeing day out.
Serving from 11am
30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD
It’s hard to knock this well-loved chain that have been getting it right for years. Yes its samey, yes you can get it in London, but there’s something comforting in the familiarity of the menu and all you can drink fizzy water on tap.
I always start by loading up on ‘free’ pickled ginger, getting my little bowl of soy and wasabi perfectly mixed and snapping my wooden chopsticks before grabbing a Salmon Selection (raw salmon on rice three ways), Edamame Beans, Kaiso Seaweed Salad and a Crispy Salmon Skin Roll (salmon and sauce, wrapped in rice and crispy skin).
Once these are consumed (not shared), a press the buzzer which instigates the friendly but ear screeching random Japanese sound and causes my light to ignite, before one of the team run at lightning speed to take a custom order. So I order Crispy Salmon Skin Temaki (hand rolled), Miso soup (unlimited) and Duck Gyonza (dumpling) that comes with a sweet dipping sauce.
By now, stick a chopstick in me, I’m done! Now time for shopping on George Street and trip to the Castle up the hill to walk all that off. Ps. Get a seat by the window – the views are stunning.
19 Dalry Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2BQ
I think the kids say, ‘Oh my days’. This unassuming place near Haymarket train station is a bit out the way, but worth the walk. It reminds me of eating sushi in San Francisco (undoubtedly the capital of sushi outside of Japan). From the outside it looks unassuming and tiny and that’s because it is. But don’t judge a book by its cover, this is the real deal.
It’s the kind of place you want to ask the waiter to ‘just bring things’ but in reality you don’t because you’re kind of scared that they might actually bring you something authentically Japanese like boiled fish eyes or monkey brains (I’m making that up).
So I order six pieces of Temaki Sushi – king prawn tempura. Six pieces of Maki Sushi – salmon and avocado, two pieces of Nigiri – salmon. Last but not least 8 pieces Roll Sushi. I picked Soft shell crab roll (Avocado, crab egg, whole soft shell crab) as you can’t beat a bit of Soft shell crab done well.
The great thing about this place is that it all seems to arrive at just the right point where you’ve nearly finished one wooden board and another arrives. How do they do that? Because the chef can see what you’re eating and have eaten – literally. Pure perfection.
What to do now. As you’re this end of town I would say head on down to the nearby canal and stroll along the canal while eyeballing some brightly coloured canal boats.
120-122 Rose St S Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4BB
This pretty little back street restaurant is small but perfectly formed. An elegant, calming and beautifully lit interior perfect make for a romantic date venue. The service is warm, friendly and respectful. The experience warrants a beautiful outfit, perhaps a slinky little black dress, heels and understated jewellery. The dishes are as beautifully presented on handmade glazed ceramics. I keep it simple and easy and order one of each of the Special Sushi Platters, Rainbow roll, Yasai and Salmon and Tuna Sushi and Sashimi to share. Teamed with Black Tiger Prawn Tempura for a bit of crunch. Yum. Head to George Street afterwards to Tiger Lily or Copper Blossom for a martini cocktail.
44 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QE
If you’re looking for easy going night of pints in jeans head to the Grass Market to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of one of the oldest (and some say haunted) parts of town. Then, get your sushi kick at Tangs, just a hop half way up the hill.
It has al the usuals offerings on the menu, and definitely try the Soft Shell Crab. I’m always astounded that you can eat a whole crab, shell, legs and all in two bites. It seems so alien, and I think thats why its so satisfying.
Afterwards, why not carry on up the hill and give the statue of Greyfriars Bobby a stroke for good luck and perhaps an after dinner Whisky in the pub of the same name behind you.