Japan, Brazil and Peru come together in this expensive New York import on floors 38 and 39 of Heron Tower: great views, great decor, wonderful sushi.
Japan, Brazil and Peru come together here. That’s not an eye-opener these days, but the entrance to this expensive New York import is. Take the glass elevator that clings to the side of Heron Tower, shoot up 38 floors in a few stomach-flipping seconds, then walk into a bar from which you can practically browse workers’ emails in the Gherkin. Go on through to the double-height glasshouse of a restaurant, with its magnificent bamboo-lattice ceiling, and your table will likely face north across Spitalfields towards Alexandra Palace or east over Stepney and out to Essex. Allow time to drink in your surroundings, and maybe a cocktail or seasonal saké, while perusing a menu that will need deciphering by your well-drilled waiter, peppered as it is with terms such as ‘tiradito’, ‘taquito’, ‘moqueca’ and ‘chicharrons’. It’s all tough visual competition for a plate of food, but the sushi does its damnedest to catch the eye with cloaks of red or green yuba (soybean curd skin). Rather than leave all the fillings to battle it out in one big, bursting-at-the-seams futomaki, the Samba London roll makes a starlet of each one (crab, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, prawn, scallop, beef, avocado) by placing it on a rice-slice pedestal. With that view – impressive in daylight, awesome by night – this is a special-occasion destination; they get a lot of birthday bookings.
Floors 38 & 39
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Average User Rating
3.3 / 5
- 5 star:20
- 4 star:16
- 3 star:9
- 2 star:8
- 1 star:15
We`ve been advised by Marc E. (restaurant Manager) to share our feedback as it would be relevant for the team to learn from their mistake.
Here we go.
Sushi Samba is an amazing place for its venue and menu. We feel quite privileged passing the door waiting for the elevator, which offered an incredible view over the city of London. Upon arrival to the restaurant, we were rapidly served and informed that our table would be ready as per booking time. (7pm) No problem at all, we were early to enjoy the fantastic cocktail menu and enjoy our time. It was a team night out that we wanted to be special.
It definitely became special from there. Our table was ready with a delay of 20min, despite the clear instruction for customers to be on time, dress code etc. However, that`s not a problem we were very understanding. We sat, enjoyed the view and panorama, once again incredible.
Florian, then arrived introducing himself as our waiter for the night. We explained that it was our first time and we did not know how it worked. We also had three persons with dietary requirement (pregnant and coeliac + dairy allergy). He barely acknowledged that with an ‘OK’ and continued his speech of introduction. All in all, we managed to understand the menu, get the necessary information (because we emailed their team prior to our visit to avoid any misunderstanding) and place our order. It was explained that everything more or less comes together as it is a sharing concept, still no worries there.
The worries started here. One then two individual dishes turned up. Then a big one with three different kind of rolls on it that we ordered. Then all the other dishes turned up finishing by the ‘Lamb chops’ on two plates (we ordered three portions). Putting them on the table, Florian reassured us that a third plate of lamb chops was coming. We were still missing one order of Ezo rolls thus enquired about it. The plates looked stunning so we took loads of pictures. Pictures we showed to Florian to assure him that we were indeed missing a dish. For such a ‘fancy’ place, the decent customer service would have been for him to refuse and believe us instead of eagerly wanting to see the pictures proving us right. Apparently “the chefs are difficult in the kitchen”, ok fine.
After a while, no sign of the third plate of lamb nor the Ezo. So we asked again. Only then Florian mentioned that the three portions have been served to us already split onto the two plates. “I was confused too” he says. Here is a simple question, if your waiter himself was confused by the way dishes were served, how could we, first time customers, know? The two portions were eaten by two people, and were still short of two dishes. The simple thing to do here would have been to apologise and get the last portion made and brought to the table.
Instead Florian argued and disappear without a word. A second man, suited, then approached our table asking “is everything ok?” to which we responded “no, but your colleague is sorting it, so no worries”. Should we have known that this man was the Manager offering his help, would have avoided us another load of delay and argument. I could go on and on, but I`m sure we can agree that this is already too long.
It was an important occasion for us and we wanted to have a special time in a special place. The dishes and cocktails received were absolutely fantastic. But the service recovery, atrocious.
Florian should have owned up to his mistake and sorted it out.
Marc, should have introduced himself has a Manager instead of arguing childishly that we sent him away so he would not help us. His body language is also questionable. Whilst trying to resolve the issue with a member of our party, he was towering over her, using a condescending tone. I don`t think this has ever made anyone feel comfortable and heard.
All members of our party work in catering industry and therefore know very well that sometimes mistake happens and we would have never been difficult about it. Insinuating that we are lying, and switching the error onto us is definitely another story. I know I lost it with Florian, and for that I`m very sorry, but for such a unique and high standard restaurant like theirs, the aforementioned is truly disheartening.
Food was lovely and view was nice.
However, it was my partner's birthday which I stated on the reservation as well as mentioned to the waiter on the day.
My partner didn't order a desert so I asked the waiter if we could get him something nice with candle in it. The waiter assures me that my partner will receive complementary mini desert with some macaroons and candle. At the end my desert was served with the candle and no macaroons for my partner! I was very disappointed by that!
Paying for the view and the quality of the food I guess? In terms of taste, not particularly wowing or creative. Quality of the fish is definitely good and fresh, desserts were nice particularly the zen garden, but other than that nothing that memorable or worth eating in terms of price.
This is one of my favourite sushi restaurants. It has the potential to set itself up for a fall, particularly with some of the host/hostess staff who seem to think they are all models that don't really want to have to lower themselves to greeting customers or taking a coat, but once you get past this and into the restaurant, i defy anyone to fault the food. I've been here 4 times now and every meal has been better than the last. It may be that i'm being more adventurous from just simple California type rolls, but the Kobe sliders, the prawn tempura, and all of the rolls we've had were faultless. Not just in taste but in exquisite presentation, attention to details and delivered by knowledgable, friendly staff. Then there is the sake - OMG all delicious. And rare for a sushi restaurant, they actually have the same incredible attention to details with the desserts.. It doesn't get any better than this for food or ambience.. you just have to get past the sentrys and a world of taste awaits!
There has been so much hype surrounding this restaurant, I was wondering if it would be a bit of a let down in reality. Truthfully speaking, though, I couldn't have enjoyed it more.
I dined at Sushi Samba on a Friday lunchtime, and so the vibe was quite corporate with the majority of the tables occupied with business lunches.
A super-fast glass lift whisks you up to the restaurant which is an exciting experience in itself and from the outset makes it seem something more special than your usual London restaurant.
The decor is modern and plush and you can't help but be impressed by the stunning views across the city. There is a lovely terrace which unfortunately we couldn't eat on due to the weather, but I imagine would be a stunning setting should the weather permit.
Every single dish we ordered was delicious and presented beautifully. The highlight for me for have to be the hot stone beef, which you cook yourself on a hot stone that is placed on the table. It won me over due to the novelty factor, but it was also absolutely delicious! The black cod was divine, as were the Samba London rolls. Every dish that came out seemed to beat the last and we were all undecided which one was best. The sign of a good restaurant! Even the coffee we ordered at the end of the meal was served beautifully with an impressive chocolate pattern on the foam... it's the little things!
Yes, it is expensive, but you go there with this in mind and so it should be no surprise when the bills comes. It was everything I hoped it would be and personally I feel it's high prices are completely justified when the food, service and overall experience is this good.
Myself and my girlfriends decided to have impromptu night out and the first stop was Sushisamba. In the first instance, it is a very beautiful place! Anyone coming to London for the first time should definitely check it out (if only for the views!) We only had a few drinks, as we were off to another party, however having seen some of the dishes on the menu I would definitely have a few bites next time I go. The atmosphere is extremely buzzy, the views are gorgeous and there are a good caliber of people. So if you're in the mood to dress up and have a few cocktails (slightly on the pricey side), then this is a great joint to check out.
We had a few beers then fancied a late night bite. SushiSamba proved to be just what was needed. Glass elevator and stunning views from the restaurant , real buzz about the place and the food was fine. Good end to a top night in the city.
I thoroughly enjoyed a special night out with my hen ladies! We dined at 6pm and enjoyed seeing the red sunset over the expansive views of London. The service was impeccable and the food and wine was divine!
We booked a table for a birthday dinner, first welcomed with a fake smile and no reference whatsoever that it was my husbands special day!
Brazilian waiter over eagerly tries to advise us on the speciality dishes which aren't cheap mind you given the size of the portions served. Looked around and wondered why on earth one had to book at least a month in advance and basically the eating area isn't at all large!
Service was fine so far ,the usual over enthusiastic waiter smiles especially after ordering a bottle of bollinger. After 20mins, our so called friendly waiter asked me how the food was, I had only just started to explain and he ignored me and dashed like a dog to the newly seated Arab guys beside us and just ignored my husband and I. My husband called him over to explain how rude he was to me which left him flustered. After watching all the waiters and managers running frantically and returning good these Arabs weren't happy about, the floor manager who was on duty on September 30th came over and apologised about the waiters behaviour,but wait it doesn't end there, his apology was so insincere that as he was talking to us he kept looking at the Arab guys next to us!you would think after this extreme rudeness, the 12.5% discretionary service charge would be waivered or a small gesture on the dessert front but no no no!
Unless you want to be treated second class even though we splashed at least £400
there, by all means we wish you luck!
Terrible service and wouldn't recommend this place to any sane individual!!
Worst night of my life, never been treated so badly by a table hostess in my life. She was too rude to acknowledge me at first, when I said the third time that I had a reservation she simply said she was too busy. Finally my boyfriend complained to the manager and we were seated. Disgusting behaviour from a nobody, food was average and view was okay but there are much better towers in London and much better food elsewhere. Wouldn't waste my time or money here again.
The ideal location for a sophisticated late afternoon drink if you're looking for something with a bit of glamour and oomph factor. Don't be put off by the security guards at ground level or dither because you haven't booked, it is perfectly acceptable, in fact I encourage you, to drop in for a drink or two. But be warned that the trip up to the 38th floor is not for the feint-heated (a dream for adrenaline junkies), the glass fronted lift whizzes up at speed, offering up jaw-dropping views from the Gherkin to St Pauls Cathedral and beyond. And once you're in situ, the views are spectacular, making this a panoramic place to sip cocktails whilst the sun sets. The decor is modern and minimalist with a high finish and the service was commendable; the staff were friendly, attentive and helpful without being intrusive. The smoked plum negroni was fabulous and very strong, or perhaps that was my vertigo kicking in... I should point out that I have a crippling fear of heights... And so, it was essential for me, after one cocktail, to drink several more to approach the lift down... Cocktails average at £13 and glasses of wine from around £7.50 (with service at 12.5%). We didn't stay for sushi as it was a last minute decision to drop by. I would advise visiting at off-peak boozing times to ensure that you get a seat and don't have a long wait at the bar; we went at around 4pm on a Sunday and, whilst it was fairly busy, we were able to get a seat outside on the spectacular roof terrace and then move inside to a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows which gave electrifying views of London. All in all, alcohol with attitude and altitude, definitely worth a visit!
I have had a lot of sushi and this place beats them all. We had a try if Kobe beef here too and that was very nice indeed. The black cod was very yummy too. We also had the fillet of beef and found it very dry and not a great dish. All is all lovely and next time will only have sushi as it was the best.
I haven't actually eaten here, but after the experience I've had with customer service, I never will. We wanted to increase a client lunch booking by one person on a table of four - not another two people, not another three or four, one only - and the restaurant flat-out refued to do it. We will never use them again.
I went to Sushisamba on Friday evening. I am Peruvian and very familiar with all three types of cuisine this restaurant offers. The view really is amazing, so I would definitely recommend people go and check it out, but only for a drink at the bar. I arrived early for my reservation so had a drink at the bar. Beware people! The cocktail waitress was so overwhelmed with orders that she made a mistake on 3 bills, including mine. She overcharged me by 10 pounds and overcharged another customer by twice as much. We also had to wait a very long time at the bar. Dinner was very pleasant and the waiters really made an exceptional effort. However, food-wise I was very disappointed with what they offered. The ceviche and tiraditos were incredibly bland, which saddened me because both of these dishes are truly amazing in taste. I recommed going to Lima for better tasting nouvelle cuisine Peruvian food. The sushi itself was normal, nothing out of this world. The best dish was perhaps the tuna tataki, although not spectacular in taste either. Overall, it was a good evening but the poor food and price paid does not justify going there for dinner. The views justify going there for a cocktail though.
Loved it!! It was pretty difficult to get a reservation, but worth the wait. I will definitely be back.
I've just been trying to get a response on their reservations phone line and email address for a while and it seems nobody ever wants to pick up or respond. After trying three different times and waiting over 20 minutes on hold each time, I decided the phone reservation wasn't the way to go. The bookings email was equally non-responsive. Don't know if I'll ever get a chance to actually try their food seeing as I can't even get in touch to make a booking.
Food was great but not worth the price. I love sushi but felt this place was trying way too hard to be different. Some dishes were amazing and some were disappointing. The space, the terraces, the views, the lifts.. all amazing. The service, once past the incredibly awful hostesses (just because you work at the hottest table in town, does not mean everyone is trying to sneak in..), was very attentive and good.
Terrible.Poor service (over 30min wait for a gin&tonic when there were only 3 other people ordering &10 members of staff loitering.Food order incorrect, constant bungling. Oh &most of the bottles of wine had "sold out".The views are spectacular, the food is tasty but overpriced.go to NYC sushi samba
Excellent food, great cocktails, fantastic tea and the best views of London by far. Service every time I have visited has been impeccable
Great view, great decoration & very good quality/quantity food. Pricey but not over pricey. The waiters were very nice and dedicated (they moved us to the best table with the nice view...)We had a wonderful time and I am planning to go again soon.
such a bad service!! I went both to sushi samba as well as duck and waffle but the service really let me down! I waited for my drinks for more then half an hour! I wouldn't recommend it to anyone,better to go to Tower 42 if you want the views
Coolest place in London by far... I liked most the non-sushi plates... Great recommendations and an amazing experience
definitely one of the best of many new bars to open in the central east area recently. the mojitos were especially delicious, but to be honest views distracted us from the drinks for most of the evening
While in London for the Olympics, I learned of the opening of Sushisamba London. I had heard of Sushisamba in the States, and it has always been on my to-dine list, so I took the timie of the London opening as a sign that it was time to try it out and up the 38 stories of Heron Tower we went! We were greeted by friendly hosts, and the most beautiful views we had ever seen. We only had time to grab a drink, so we found our way to the terrace where we sat at the bar under a magnificent orange tree. We wanted to try some Sushisamba cocktails we had heard so much about. We waited for the bartender to come over. Then waited a little bit more. Once he worked his way across the crowded bar he was extremely helpful and guided our way through the menu. All in all it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon in London. Now to try Sushisamba in the states.
I don't understand the comments below, I really enjoyed my visit to SushiSamba. Great food, great drinks and amazing views. Its the best new bar I've been to in ages! I can't wait to go again.
great views AND great food. this is seriously better than most of the other high-priced London sushi restaurants... don't understand the other reviewers, esp. the comment about selfish waiters (ever been to Nobu???). I'll be back
My entire experience of this bar/restaurant was unfortunately overshadowed by the lift. It's a clear glass lift attached to the outside of the building which shoots up to the 39th floor at the rate of knots. It absolutely terrified me which I was not expecting otherwise would oviously not have got in it in the first place. I'm fine with top floor bars etc (I've been to Tower 42, the top of the Gherkin, Empire State Building etc - all were fine) but I just felt so unsafe in that lift. Anyway, it's a shame there isn't another way up otherwise I'd definitely go back. I then spent my whole time up there panicking about the lift on the way down - pathetic, I know, but it's how I felt and I just couldn't shake it off. It is fairly expensive, but you don't expect a place like that to be cheap in the first place. My boyfriend really enjoyed the food (although the lift experience had stressed me out so much, I could only manage half a starter and one glass of wine - not my usual style!) and he would definitely go back; unfortunately I definitely won't be going with him unless they build an inside lift! Kind of agree with the annoying waiter comment too... i think to say he was 'attentive' would be a massive understatement.
Annoying waiter! Very small portions, very average sushi, stupidly pricey, amazing views, will not return, very sad.
Yet Another American based and funded restaurant Chain selling over priced fusion food on the hype generated by the TV series Sex and The City on a nice location. Selfish, stingy, short sighted attitude towards superbly skilled hard-working staff it's clashing with the pretended grandeur of the restaurant. There's plenty of high class restaurants in central London to go instead.
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