Sushi Samba is a renowned Peruvian, Brazilian, and Japanese fusion restaurant located on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower, minutes away from Liverpool Street Station. I first came across Sushi Samba somewhat suddenly – about five years ago I was invited for a New Years Eve dinner at Sushi Samba last minute, didn’t have other plans, so I went without expecting much, and I was instantly impressed, starting with the really cool ride up the Heron Tower panoramic glass elevator. It was a good dinner, a large bunch of us, so we pretty much had every maki roll on the menu, and I also had the miso-glazed Black Cod, and with that my love affair with Black Cod began.
With Shiima, it’s not been easy to convince her to come to Sushi Samba, because we went early on in our relationship and she was hounded by the otherwise really sweet waiters to try one of their many fish dishes, but she remained steadfast and refused. I couldn’t stop laughing, but I knew she was dying inside 😂. Also, she didn’t really like the chicken teriyaki, which is her default main dish at a Japanese restaurant. So, last month (because it takes a month to get a reservation!) I put my foot down and begged (yeah, putting one’s foot down and begging don’t usually go together 😂) that we give Sushi Samba another go, and she obliged.
When we arrived at Sushi Samba, the bar area (both a sushi bar and a drinks bar) were quite bustling, especially the outdoor terrace, and it wasn’t the warmest of days. We checked in with the hostess and we led by a waiter to our table in a corner of the main dining room by the clear glass wall with views towards Shoreditch. The room wasn’t half full at this time, but it did quickly pick up. The décor of the room is spectacular, one of the things I was taken with on my first visit – floor to ceiling glass walls, with sturdy bamboo from the floor to the high ceiling and drop down lights bulbs from the ceiling.
What we ordered
The menu isn’t the largest, but I think it’s just right (for me, at least 😊). Shiima ordered Edamames, Vegetable Tempura, Vegetable Taquitos, Kobe Sliders, and Chicken Teriyaki. She asked for steamed rice, but the waiter said they didn’t have it, which is odd, yes, it’s not on the menu, but it’s rice. As it turns out, other people did get rice, but it was “sushi rice” …rah! Lol. And looking through previous pictures from dining at Sushi Samba, Shiima did get rice lol. I ordered Salt and Pepper squid, Black Cod anticucho, El Topo maki roll, Tiger Maki roll, and fresh water eel Sashimi. Writing that, I realise it’s a lot of food 😳
Review of the food
As always, Shiima and I enjoyed the edamames, and she really liked the tacquitos – it had lovely mashed avocados, which she usually avoids, but she cleaned it up and even had some home made mashed avocados for breakfast on Sunday lol. She didn’t get the vegetable tempura, instead the shrimp tempura was served, needless to say, I had that one, and it was amazing, but then I was sooo pleasantly surprised because she decided to try the squid … drumroll … and she loved it. I got soo excited. She’s eating fish, one dish at a time.
The Kobe Sliders we really nice, especially with the horseradish mayo and it looked like a hit across the restaurant. And finally, she did enjoy her chicken teriyaki; it didn’t taste like “charcoal” as she says it did prior, perfectly grilled and seasoned tender baby chicken.
Like Shiima, I really enjoyed the salt and pepper squid, although I preferred the more succulent shrimp tempura. The black Cod was excellent as always; incredible consistency with this dish, and the hidden gem is the delicious Peruvian corn that accompanies the dish. The maki rolls were amazing, but the El Topo was superior; it was warm because the mozzarella was melted on top of it, and also spicy because of the Jalapeno – the dish is a real winner.
And finally, the eel sashimi was incredible … I had always avoided eel sashimi because I really wasn’t keen on raw eel, but I realised watching the chefs at Sake No Hana that eel is always lightly cooked before serving.
We did have a look at the dessert menu, but as we expected nothing really interested us, and I was stuffed at this point.
It certainly was a lot of food, and the bill reflected this, but, as we do, we didn’t drink any alcohol so that factors to a certain degree. Regardless, Sushi Samba is expensive, but I guess having to book a month in advance gives you enough time to save up for it lol. But, Sushi Samba is worth it. The food is really good, the presentation is ace, the service is good, but the atmosphere seems to be the ace in the hole.
I’d certainly recommend for special occasions, romantic dinners, and does that enjoy a breath-taking view of the city while they eat. Speaking of eating, I also recommend the nikkei seviche, toro tiradito, the lamb chops, and the Samba London maki roll.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Cuisine: Japanese, Peruvian, and Brazilian fusion.
Amen’s Star Dish: Black Cod Miso Anticucho
Shiima’s Star Dish: Vegetable Taquitos
Price: £50+ (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (upgraded to 5 out of 5 after dinner on 13/07/17)
London, EC2N 4AY
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