This week’s culinary delight is Sushimania. It has all your sushi needs at an affordable price with reasonably attentive service and an exciting range of Japanese dishes. The décor may be that of a gangster hidey hole, complete with ornate leather sofas and blacked out windows, but the £15.80 all-you-can-eat buffet is worth it.
Unlike the usual gut-busting bonanza in the UK, this buffet works by diners filling out a card with their chosen dishes and handing it to the waiter or waitress. The food is then freshly prepared and brought to your table with the card ready to be filled in again. Some of the more exotic items have a small surplus charge, like the spectacular Dynamite Spider Roll, but on the whole, you’re free to fill your boots.
Be aware that any wasted food is charged at the standard price, which is significantly steeper. This has never happened to me (surprise, surprise), but it’s good to remember when your eyes inevitably become bigger than your stomach.
Now, with the rules and regulations out of the way, let’s talk food. I was with two other people so we shared our dishes and left with a receipt of consumed items the length of a human forearm. We covered all the traditional sushi bases to start: various fish & vegetable nigiri, hosomaki, uramaki and sashimi.
The highlight of the restaurants uncooked dishes, for me at least is the, amaebi nigiri. It’s a long, sweet and juicy prawn on a giddy rice block. I had never had it before and it’s now my favourite, shortly followed by the hotate sashimi which had a £2.30 surcharge. However, for three portions of fresh and beautifully prepared scallop it was worth it.
We steadily moved on from the raw fish extravaganza and began sampling some of the cooked dishes. There are three clear favourites:
- The oyster tempura, which I unashamedly ate at least ten of. The tempura batter was crisp and not at all greasy; the warm oyster within was soft, salty and meaty. It’s also quite a good way to introduce someone to oysters or those who don’t like them fresh and giddy from the shell.
- The grilled aubergine with miso. The aromatic sesame, mirin and soy make the dish tantalising to smell and the miso comes into its own as the impeccably cooked aubergine hits your tongue. A simple yet spectacular dish.
- The final favourite was the salmon teriyaki. It was a well-cooked piece of fish; very tender and covered in the distinctive dark hue that a good teriyaki provides. It was obvious why everyone in the restaurant at least one portion on their table.
There is a cornucopia of dishes on the menu and sadly, or wisely, you can never fit them all in (well not in one sitting.) There is however something for everyone and overall Sushmania is an impressive and creative Japanese outlet. The food is predominantly delicious and the whole place makes a refreshing change to the somewhat sterile Yo!Sushi or expensive Moshimo.