Sosharu

Restaurants, Japanese Farringdon
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
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The latest Jason Atherton restaurant, serving pimped-up Japanese ‘pub’ food.

You know how Kris Jenner names daughters? As in, Kourtney, Khloe, Kim, Kylie and Kendall (where have you been, living under a rock?). Well, that’s how acclaimed chef Jason Atherton names his restaurants. He likes to keep things ‘Social’, from Pollen Street Social to Social Wine and Tapas, or my personal favourite, Social Eating House. Luckily for Atherton, that’s where the comparison with the Kardashians ends, because unlike the internet-breaking attentionistas, the Social family are restrained and intelligent, and this latest baby is no different. What is different is the cuisine: Sosharu serves modern Japanese. But then, you’d already guessed that.

They’ve done the smart thing and carved up the room’s industrial proportions using suspended wooden beams (kind of like eating in a giant four-poster bed) and Oriental lattice screens for intimacy. Do check out the counter bar (outstay your allotted two hours and you’ll be moved here anyway), so you can watch metal-chopstick-wielding chefs arrange the fiddliest of ingredients with astonishingly steady hands. It’ll make you want to jump up and challenge them to a game of Operation (don’t: you’ll only lose).

Every plate is a thing of beauty, its flavours as intriguing. Take the must-order ‘open’ tuna temaki, (pictured above): a twist on a traditional handroll, the seaweed wrapper comes tempura-battered (it really works) and set into a ‘U’ shape, much like a hard taco. It’s then filled with perfect sushi rice, raw tuna, shredded scallion, salty fish roe and radish slivers for a riot of colour, texture and flavour. And that’s before you even add a squirt of spicy mayo, which comes in a teeny-tiny catering bottle for maximum cuteness. I also loved the chicken skewers: one of ‘skin’ (crisp, fatty, delicious), the other a dense ‘meatball’, both served with a glistening whole egg yolk suspended over yakitori sauce (you mix this all up, then use it as an ultra-rich dipping sauce). Only scallops, overwhelmed by their too-sharp accompaniments, were less than perfect. But that’s me being picky.

Service is flawless – though you’d hope so at these prices, which for what’s essentially pimped-up izakaya (Japanese ‘pub’) food is definitely on the expense-account-or-special-occasion end of the scale. Still, you get what you pay for – right down to the awesome pre-warmed loos – so if you’re looking to splurge, Sosharu won’t disappoint.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Sosharu
Contact:
Address: 64 Turnmill St
London
EC1M 5RR
Transport: Tube: Farringdon
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|11
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Tastemaker

My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to be treated to afternoon tea at this very impressive restaurant. Usually I'm not a massive fan of afternoon tea, however I truly loved this experience. The menu was so interesting - first course was tuna and salmon ternaki, both of which were absolutely delicious. Second course was chicken karaage, basically deep fried chicken, but mouth-wateringly good. And the cake selection to finish with was amazing - four different cakes, each totally different but tasted amazing. A huge level of detail had gone into the presentation of each dish. I'll definitely be returning to try to the dinner menu!

tastemaker

An izakaya-style restaurant from the Atherton crew, Sosharu definitely has the intimate Japanese interior down pat with soft earthy timber colours, delicate handmade Japanese tableware and linear spacial dividers reminiscent of shōji doors which feature heavily in traditional Japanese architecture.


What we had:

The Taste for Two Menu with a glass of wine or sake

  • Omakase Sashimi
  • Sunomono Salad: Iceberg lettuce, edamame, crispy rice, green beans, sweet vinegar dressing
  • Grilled & raw salmon temaki (hand roll) spiced cabbage, tosazu jelly
  • Tuna temaki (hand roll) scallion tobiko, sushi rice, avocado, fresh wasabi
  • Steamed celeriac & chicken gyoza, kyoto chili vinegar
  • Chicken yakitori rice pot, shishito pepper, slow cooked egg
  • Tonkatsu Dingley Dell crumbed pork loin, seasoned rice
  • Cookie & strawberry kakigōri

This is a great set menu for a large group of friends as sharing is caring. The flavours I felt were a little muted in general and unfortunately the service was rather disjointed (although friendly) and lacked fluidity as there were often large gaps between courses. The main crowd pleasers were definitely the Tonkatsu pork loin - the meat was succulent and in thick cuts with a perfect layer of crumbing giving it a very satisfying crunch; and the temaki hand rolls were also a hit given their unique plating, flavours and texture and were affectionately referred to as Japanese tacos. The gyoza were a little disappointing, the flavour perhaps required a bit more umami to bring out the more subtle flavours of the chicken; and the pastry was folded in half and therefore lacked structural integrity when being picked up by chopsticks as they are steamed (there’s a reason why some techniques haven’t changed for thousands of years). The chicken yakitori rice pot didn’t quit have the coal flavour usually associated with yakitori and the rice pot became cold due to waiting for bowls to be given for sharing. The kakigōri was not too sweet and an interesting dessert - a mash up of chocolate chip cookie and strawberry; however not particularly memorable. Overall, there are a few things that require a bit of ironing out; but I did enjoy the atmosphere and the food. I would definitely come back for the Tonkatsu pork loin (and would love to know how they made the crumbing) and take myself down stairs to check out 7 Tales.


Tip: don’t forget to check out the whisky bar downstairs, 7 Tales which channels a ‘Tokyo After Dark’ atmosphere.


Good For: work dinner, catch up with friends, large groups, special occasion, intimate drinks.

tastemaker

I'll start from the only negative aspect of this Atherton's fine restaurant, which is the service. Compared to the level of the food and considering the price you pay for it, it's to be considered rough and not attentive. What a pity! Coming to the serious stuff, all the dishes offer the diner the most fresh and innovative interpretation of the Japanese cuisine, with notes of European and Probably a bit of Center-South American influences. Noteworthy the open temaki, served in a lightly fried seaweed, that makes it look like a rectangular taco. Also remarkable is the chicken rice pot, typically full of all the Asian flavours but in some way, maybe because of the "earthy" taste of the egg, ascribable to the British traditions. The sashimi selection as well is fabulous! The raw pieces of fish melt lustfully in the mouth, making explode the flavour of each paired marinade. Every single penny of the bill is more than well spent. Bravo!!

tastemaker

Sosharu is by far the best restaurant I have been to this year. A joint combination of high level of Service, Atmosphere, Food and Internal décor. Could not hype this restaurant up enough. We went in the weekday after work and was greeted with a lovely lady behind the desk. I did call 30 minutes prior to this to ask if there was an wait and was reassured there will be an table available. Which was the case once we arrived.

We had the following:

Assorted Sashimi Plate

Additional fatty tuna sashimi – So Fresh!

Sweetcorn tempura

Grilled octopus

Sukiyaki Wagyu Beef. (comes in an hot pot plate where you cook to your own taste)

And Finally the cookie and strawberry Kakigori,  this consists of shaved ice, syrup, ice cream and strawberries with a cookie to top it all off. This is most definitely my favourite dessert to date and the sensation and textures are nothing like any dessert I have had previously.

tastemaker

This restaurant is my treat place for a Saturday lunch. The menu changes every season and every dish is as good as it looks. My favourite dishes are the smoked octopus and THAT chicken kara age. Also, don't forget to order the £3.50 pickles! The cocktails are divine, which isn't surprising considering the bar downstairs. Oh, and if there are awards for the best toilets in London - Sosharu would win hands down.

Tastemaker

This is my kind of restaurant! Great ambience, awesome sounding drinks menu - which I unfortunately couldn't try other than the non-alcoholic bubble tea - Fukushima- , the delicious looking lunch bento box with some of the best fried chicken with cute little pickles on the side. I've found the noodle that came with the lunch box a little to heavy. But I kept peeking into what other tables got served and everybody seemed pleased so overall it is a place I would want to bring my friends to impress! And to try the rest of the drinks menu! :)

Tastemaker

This is a fancy little place if ever I've seen one which I was introduced to by my friend Michael who knows EVERYTHING there is to know about premium restaurants. I know a little less so I will let the pictures do the talking. This is placed super close to Farringdon and is a trendy joint. We sat at the counter which I loved so I could look at exactly what they were up to! I enjoyed the service and I really needed those explanations for the dishes (one of which was a little spicier than anticipated). The wine menu was VAST and I just went for fizz in the end. I really enjoyed it and fish dishes plus tempura were excellent, but even more for having Michael as my food guide for the night.

Tastemaker

Sosharu is a beautiful restaurant tucked behind Farringdon station. You enter through a curtain into an airy minimalist dining room with a long bar at the back and lovely simple wooden furniture. As soon as we sat down we were brought steaming hand towels which was such a nice touch. The menu is made up of a range of different sharing plates including open temaki which are kind of like sushi tacos. They recommend six to seven dishes for two people to share. There were no vegetarian symbols on the menu and when I asked whether the kim chi had fish in it I was told no. Unfortunately it did contains pieces of sardine and three staff did not know this even when we showed them the pieces of fish. The manager eventually confirmed with the kitchen but it wasn't taken off our bill until we asked. Apart from the mushroom rice bowl being too salty, the rest of the food was delicious. The Asian pear and avocado salad was really fresh and crisp and the grilled aubergine was well cooked with radish and greens to garnish it. The avocado tempura came with a creamy sauce, soy type sauce and three salts for dipping including a wasabi salt which was a great touch. The food was served on so many nice dishes - some pottery and others with blue and white painted patterns. The cocktails were beautifully presented with all different types of flowers and berries to garnish them. For dessert we tried the chocolate sesame roll and matcha mille feuille which I preferred. A visit to Sosharu is not complete without a trip to the toilets as they have Toto Japanese toilets with all the extras including heated seats and a lid which closes on its own so the seat can be cleaned. The cost definitely adds up but for the quality of food and relaxed atmosphere I thought it was worth it.

Tastemaker

I have been a fan of Jason Atherton's for a while now. I love his social-eating concept. I love the execution. I love how the bars at his restaurants (The Blind Pig at the Social Eating House!) are tastefully both a part of the restaurant and their own thing, with awesome bar snacks to match great drinks. So naturally I was looking forward to visiting Sosharu. Atherton is venturing into unfamiliar Japanese waters here, but does so with confidence. Japanese cuisine is one of my favorites. I love sushi and ramen and thought it a bit disappointing Sosharu is not serving any. But it is, you see, an izakaya. Now izakayas are supposed to be rather cheap and serve Japanese pub grub. But, let's be honest, we didn't really expect cheap from the man behind Berner's Tavern? He does deliver on all other fronts - Japanese pub grub it is, but with a flare. Tempura, skewers, some soba noodles and pot dishes - everything we tried was fantastic, well executed with a special Atherton's touch and fresh. And sashimi too (featuring different tuna varieties). So, again, no sushi and ramen. Disappointing in theory, but in practice I hardly noticed. I love the interiors too: timber, muted greens and yellows - exactly the colour combo I'd be going for if I were to do renovations now. And they have a sugar cube vending maching for those headache-inducing bubbly cocktails in the 7 Tales bar downstairs. So all in all, another winner! 


This place has a great energy even as you walk in - I went with a girlfriend for some cocktails and snacks down at their secret cocktail bar, 7 Tales. The usually very simple Chicken Karaage passed the litmus test of balanced crispiness on the outside and juicy-ness on the inside. But what was really unique was the wagyu sausage slices - it's unexpected goodness in the mouth. Had a few good Japanese whiskies on hand (Nikka mostly) and my girlfriend ordered a very interesting cocktail in which upon serving the drink, you are also given a token that you slot into a small vending machine by the bar, that then dispenses the final ingredient to your cocktail. Who can say no to a little fun in the middle of drinks? Service was warm and prompt - definitely coming back for dinner soon!