Yashin Ocean House
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A modern Japanese restaurant in Kensington.
Yashin Ocean House is a sophisticated Japanese restaurant with a focus on what it calls ‘head to tail’ dining, so expect unusual cuts of fish and meat, from cod cheek to pork shoulder. Inside, it’s very chic. There’s swish counter-seating, intentionally peeling plaster walls – and an enormous horse-shaped lamp (yes, really).
A plate of grilled octopus came slathered in a lip-smacking butter mixed with yuzu kosho, a Japanese condiment made up of garlic, chilli, and citrus juices. A padron pepper added a refreshing edge, and there was also a handy mound of sea salt flakes to season the tentacles. The vegetable tempura, which included battered ginger root, delivered deep-fried decadence. It also has an extensive sushi selection. Although not cheap (a dish of the chef’s choice of eight sushi rolls was £30), the presentation is on point and the results delicious. A roll of fresh tuna came with a dash of fiery wasabi sauce, while the seabass maki was served with an intriguing dollop of horseradish. Service here is swift and friendly – and there’s also a good range of Japanese wines and sake.
Yashin Ocean House does have some minor foibles. Some of the maki rolls lacked seasoning, and flavour combinations in desserts – Japanese twists on European classics – didn’t always work. An overly rich crème brulee, for instance, was overpowered by the matcha tea dusting on top.
Generally though, its imaginative takes on traditional dishes work. And while it’s fairly expensive, especially given the small portions, if it’s flare and creativity you’re after, you’re in the right place.
117-119 Old Brompton Road
|Transport:||Tube: Gloucester Road|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £160.|
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