Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Dec 21 2010
Watatsumi is a mid-priced modern Japanese restaurant just south of Trafalgar Square.
The setting’s a little odd – a high-ceilinged room of marble pillars and cornicing, actually an ante-room to a hotel lobby, that’s changed little since it was a ‘mozzarella bar’ a couple of years ago. The staff are an international bunch, but a few Japanese-style screens and a sushi bar are enough to make you aware of that this is no longer a place to order fresh bufala.
The nigiri sushi were competently made, the prices on the high side, served as individual pieces rather than the more usual pairs. Better value was a nicely-made agedashi dofu, the deep-fried cubes of tofu nicely crisp on the surface, dunked in a well-balanced hot broth of soy, dashi and mirin.
A side order of hijiki – a seaweed – was so generous we wondered if one of the junior chefs had made a mistake. It’s normally an appetiser-sized portion; this was an entire handful. Aka dashi soup proved a beter choice for a winter’s day, the dark red miso broth striated with enoki mushrooms.
The most surprising dishes though were the ones that were least Japanese – duck breast was cut into neat slivers and served with a mandarin-flavoured dressing. For this is not ‘Modern Japanese’ food in the Nobu sense, more of a mish-mash.
On our visit the staff appeared willing but inexperienced, and the restaurant as a whole seemed to lack focus. But the location makes it worth knowing about as the alternatives in the immediate area are limited, the dishes are competent, and it should be possible to get a seat post-theatre or -cinema at no notice.
Watatsumi Club Quarters Hotel
- Cross Street:
7 Northumberland Avenue
- Venue phone:
020 7036 8520
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-midnight Fri, Sat.
Tube: Charing Cross tube/rail or Embankment tube
Meal for two with drinks and service: around £80.
- Club Quarters Hotel
- 020 7036 8520
- Club Quarters Hotel
Average User Rating
3.5 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
This review needs updating and is unnecessarily negative... I visited Watatsumi recently and the food was amazing; beautifully presented, and tasty, volcano roll and interesting ice-cream mochi selection with alcohol pairing to end - popular in Japan, I was advised by our friendly waiter. There is also an unusual light-projecting chandelier with hundreds of white fish greeting you on arrival. Those looking for good quality Japanese-inspired cuisine should opt for Watatsumi - a great escape from the tourist-hell of Trafalgar Square. Return visit planned to try the 'sushi-while-you-watch' raw bar.