Good news: almost every dish you order at the Victoria branch of Danish sushi chain Sticks’n’Sushi looks as impressive as it does on the stylish ‘Photo Album’ menu. The countless shots of beautifully crafted sushi and mouthwatering grilled meat might make it tough for you to make up your mind about what to eat, so here’s a tip: go for the sticks (yakitori) first. The stand-out dish was the butter-soft, melt-in-your-mouth miso-marinated black cod skewer. An equally good vegetarian option was the oyster mushroom yakitori, which came smothered in tangy soy and miso herb butter. The fried Jerusalem artichoke chips, too, were a delight to munch on, and the fried cauliflower was worth a taste just for its sticky sesame truffle sauce.
When it comes to sushi, there’s certainly lots of choice. The vegetarian green maki rolls (artichoke, avocado, coriander) had a good texture, but were nothing special. Avoid the inari nigiri – ginger and mushroom served on a little boat of tofu – it was disturbingly sweet. The restaurant setting is pleasant: the dark, sleek interior nods to Sticks’n’Sushi’s Scandi roots and the music is upbeat. Yet the tables for two are crammed in so close together that we had to hold on to our plates while the lady next to us got out of her seat. The young staff were friendly enough, once you got their full attention, but the pre-theatre dinner rush meant that it took 20 minutes to place a drinks order. Service improved significantly after 7pm, when the lights dimmed and the atmosphere became more intimate. And those black cod skewers were definitely worth the wait.