Just a few doors up from one of London’s most lauded sushi restaurants (Atariya), Kiraku has stiff competition. But this friendly neighbourhood restaurant definitely holds its own. The tatty orange sign and frosted glass windows give little away about what to expect inside. The interior is simple too – pale wood sushi counter and tables, white walls hung with ink drawings of fish, and a TV screening Japanese shows. Nevertheless, the food is not only of a high quality, but good value too. No wonder the dining room is regularly full with a range of expats and local families.
A house speciality of kaisen bara-chirashi saw an array of impeccable fish (tuna, salmon, cured mackerel, boiled prawn) and jewel-like roe scattered across a bowl of generously vinegared rice – a joy for the eyes as well as the palate. Particularly impressive were the tender chunks of octopus, an ingredient that so often is too rubbery. Tempura udon was another enjoyable dish, with a resonant dashi broth and chewy noodles, though the batter on the prawn was a little thick. Drink Japanese beer or saké, served by courteous, efficient staff.