Sushi Cafelicious (CLOSED)
Time Out says
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Sometimes a new sushi restaurant rolls up with too many distinguishing characteristics. This one boasts a pedigree (as an offshoot of former Time Out Eating & Drinking Award winner Café Japan); pioneer status (‘the capital’s first all-female sushi team’); striking decor (magenta and white with a retro girly waitress logo); bold health claims (‘a shot of collagen jelly with every [sushi] cup offers an anti-ageing boost’); and a culinary innovation (sushi cake).
The first is correct; the second might be true; the third probably reflects the second; we’re very sceptical about the fourth; and that last one – well, sushi cake is a new one on us.
As the emphasis here is on temari – hand-rounded balls – you’ll find less raw content than at a typical nigiri sushi bar. This is in keeping with a traditional Kyoto style that uses cooked, cured or marinated toppings; their inherent flavours make it possible to do away with dipping shoyu, as ‘Chef Miho’ has done, in order to reduce salt levels.
Even if some of the USPs prove to be gimmicks, Cafelicious has got the pricing right with vegetarian options starting at just 30p a mouthful.
Spend 80p a pop and you can upgrade to miso mozzarella, flaked salmon, marinated tuna or sweet prawn. They are such dainty bite-sized confections it’s almost a shame to sink teeth into them but don’t miss out on the tang of umeboshi (sour plum) paste atop tender diced squid.
A wedge of that intriguing ‘sushi cake’ costs £1.80 but it is sizeable and full of seasoned vegetables in the rice ‘sponge’ that’s covered in unsweetened omelette ‘icing’.
Mostly Cafelicious offers alluring but lightweight fare and, with just five stools along one wall, it’s more of a takeaway operation than somewhere to linger over lunch. But it’s ever so pretty.
2 North End Rd
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