Chisou was in the same Mayfair spot for 16 years before the owners decided to change things up a little. Now, the Princes Street original is no more but this new, bigger site has opened on Woodstock Street, just around the corner.
It’s beautiful inside: light and airy, with lots of pale oak tables, a calming wall of sake bottles at the entrance and an open sushi counter so you can watch the chefs at work while you eat. On our lunchtime visit it was buzzy, relaxed and the service was lovely. Just the right amount of bustle: no one rushing you through your meal.
Cold dishes are its strong suit. A favourite was the horenso salad starter: fresh spinach leaves, beautifully arranged into a spiral, with crispy, spicy pieces of prawn topped with a creamy yuzu sauce and some ultra-thin fried, spiralised carrot for texture. Next up, three different types of perfect sashimi (yellowtail fin, salmon and prawn) and some delicious inside-out rolls with soft-shell crab. From the hot selection, the fried chicken karaage had an excellent bubbly batter, while the skewered chicken tsukune (meatballs) were nicely breaded and juicy.
The bill was on the steep side, but this was top-notch sushi in a truly lovely spot – it was absolutely worth the price. If you’re on a budget, stick to the cold stuff, or go at lunch and you’ll find a slightly cheaper menu. If you love sushi and don’t mind paying for it? Splash out and go for the real deal.