Last week I paid another visit to Dinings, the small Japanese restaurant opened by ex-Nobu chef and tucked away on a quiet street in Marylebone in London. My colleague from the States is a real sushi fan, and after taking her to Sushi-Hiro in Ealing last time, I had a difficult task to impress her with another good sushi eatery.
On a previous visit I had the tar-tar chips, essentially mini taco chips filled with avocado, crab or salmon, and with a spicy mayonnaise or creamy jalapeno sauce. This time I recommended it to my colleague, even though it’s not really my favourite but I can see why it’s special and the westerners would like it.
We ordered a variety of sushi, some from the menu and some from the specials board. One of the specials was the seabass sushi topped with cherry blossom salt – no need to dip in any soy sauce. It was delicious – the freshness of the fish combined with the delicate taste of the salt worked magic. Another special that we ordered was sea urchin with poached quail egg sushi – never in a million year would I think to combine these 2 ingredients together, but the flavour of the sea urchin blended in so well with the sweetness and gooeyness of the quail egg. It’s genius! My colleague opted to leave the best till last, and that was a bad mistake – when the quail egg had gone cold, that wow factor disappeared. We tried to order a second round (I was that impressed with it that I didn’t mind someone else coming up with an excuse to have another one) but, alas, they ran out of quail eggs and it’s no longer available.
We also had the spider (soft shell crab) rolls – the soft shell crab was nice and crispy. We also opted for my usual favourite salmon skin sushi roll.
As if that wasn’t enough, we also ordered some nasu miso (miso-grilled aubergine) – it was perfectly cooked and the flavour was just right. We also ordered grilled rasor clams with asparagus – that was delicious also. I deliberately chose not to order the black cod as the one i had in the previous visit was a bit disappointing – I think the use of chilli in cooking the black cod didn’t really bring out the flavour.
On the whole, we had a really enjoyable visit. My colleague was trying to find the words to describe the food here, and in the end we agreed that “taste sensation” summed the meal up pretty accurately.
Address: 22 Harcourt Street, London, W1H 4HH , United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7723 0666
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Saturday-Sunday 6pm-11pm
Total: 17/20 [Based on visit in February 2010 ]