By Jonathan Hatchman
Situated on the outside corner of Greenwich’s world famous bustling market, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi’s third UK branch is a welcome addition to the area. Inspired by brothers Kim and Jens Rahbek’s half-Japanese, half-Danish background, the cuisine on offer at Sticks ‘n’ Sushi is a fusion between two culinary traditions: Japanese Sushi and Danish Yakitori – hence the restaurant’s title.
The 90-seat Greenwich restaurant is split into two sections, we were seated within the back section by the friendly staff on our Friday evening visit, joining an open kitchen that boasts some shaolin-esque cookery right before our eyes, as well as a line of close white leather tables with an atmosphere slightly less formal than the front-of-house bar area with its dark wood walls and low lighting.
The main menu emphasis at the newest outpost lies with high-quality Sushi, however a grand selection of chicken, pork, beef, lamb and vegetable dishes are also available for those less keen upon the sea’s gourmet offerings. Boasting a selection so vast that we found ourselves browsing through the catalogue-like menu a number of times before ordering as to avoid missing out on any real gems on offer.
Beginning with two refreshing cocktails, a simple Hotaru (Rum, passion fruit and apple juice) for myself, and a Keroppi (Hendricks’ Gin, cucumber, pineapple and Calpico) for my dining partner, it wasn’t long before our preliminary courses arrived to the table, spread into a number of servings as to avoid a bombardment of copious amounts of food. Restaurant favourite Ebi Bites (as recommended by the waitress) were exceptional, a selection of tempura shrimp dredged in toasted rice, topped with chilli, coriander, pepper and miso-aïoli, so good that we could have devoured at least three further portions with ease. In fact, the Ebi bites were enough to inspire us to add an Ebi panko roll Kaburimaki to the order, featuring eight slices of tempura shrimp, avocado and spicy sauce wrapped in sweet Sushi rice.
Alongside the Ebi Bites was a plate of Beef Tataki: thin slices of lightly seared fillet steak, a menu inclusion that often raises concern, yet teamed with smoked cheese, yuzu kosho dressing and a handful of soy roasted almonds to add a whole new textural dimension, the rawness of the beef is soon forgotten as the delicious flavour combination takes over. Not forgetting the optional Spicy Goma dressing served alongside the beef, progressing the dish into a whole new realm of brilliance.
Next came the “sticks” part of the meal a perfectly cooked Scallop in Teriyaki dressing, a chunk of salmon wrapped in smoked bacon and doused in miso herb butter, as well as a less impressive selection of chargrilled smoked bacon wrapped asparagus, although the taste of the charred asparagus outweighed the bacon, almost completely. The Yakitori did provide a satisfying addition, however it’s the second half of the restaurant title that really set Sticks ‘n’ Sushi as one of Greenwich’s finest new restaurant openings.
Leaving just enough room for a mini dessert in the form of a tangy yuzu curd crumble topped with soft meringue, acting as a superb replenishing palate cleanser. If you’re planning on visiting Greenwich in the near future, be sure to find time to treat your taste buds to a meal at Sticks ‘n’ Sushi.