Situated at the Chapel Market in Islington, Hot Stone Steak & Sushi is an absolute restaurant gem for Japanese food in London.
I do love sushi, but am also rather hesitant about them at the same time. Reason-being, while sushi is widely popular these days, not all deliver a high standard. It’s really straightforward for sushi, the ingredient quality is everything. And that’s where Hot Stone Steak & Sushi stands out from all the other Japanese restaurants around town.
Hot Stone Steak & Sushi – Quality is King
Hot Stone boasts itself as one of London’s best sushi restaurants and I would like to agree with that. Here are a few outstanding facts about the restaurant:
- They are 1 of 6 restaurants in the whole of the UK to serve certified Japanese Kobe Beef. Whilst it’s not halal, it’s something worth noting because Kobe Beef is the most prestige and highest grade of beef one can get.
- They are the only restaurant to serve fresh wasabi. More on that to follow below.
The executive head chef of the restaurant is Padam Raj Rai, who served as the former head sushi chef at Mayfair’s Tsukiji restaurant, as well as the kitchens of Nobu, Zuma, and Saka no Hana. With that, you can expect him to bring quality and cutting-edge flavours to Hot Stone Steak & Sushi.
Walking into the restaurant, it’s unmissable to catch the beautiful cheery blossom decor on the wall. It’s got a chilled and cosy vibe in there and the staff were very welcoming and warm.
The Food: What We Ordered:
*Disclaimer: we were invited for a complimentary meal at Hot Stone Steak & Sushi. Thoughts are my own.
We started with some Edamame Beans, which were steamed and seasoned with spicy sea salt. I enjoyed the little tingle of spice from the regular salted edamame beans. A great start to get the taste buds going before the meal!
Sashimi Set (£25)
Next up was the sashimi. I always get a teeny bit nervous when it comes to sashimi. It’s all raw fish so if the quality is off, things could go terribly wrong. However, quite to my own surprise, I absolutely loved this!
The sashimi set includes a Seared Sea Bass in Yuzu Miso & Truffle Onion, Seared Butterfish (i.e White Tuna) in Red Jalapeño sauce, and Australian Wagyu in Truffle Ponzo. I think the sauces definitely have a huge part in how much I enjoyed this. The sauces carried such a full-bodied flavour that paired so incredibly well with each of the sashimi and really opened up your palate.
The Sea Bass was very refreshing to taste, complemented with a savoury tingle from the miso. Whereas the Butterfish had a more delicate flavour that’s paired with a Jalapeño sauce that added a nice little kick. As for the Wagyu, it’s absolutely divine! The wagyu carried a lip-smacking umami flavour, with an incredibly tender melt-in-your-mouth texture. The ponzu sauce just elevated all those flavours and the flavours were absolutely sublime.
Grilled Avocado, Passionfruit, w/ Truffle (£17)
Next up, we got served a grilled avocado & passionfruit, topped with spicy mayo and truffles. Now, this was certainly a very interesting combo that we had absolutely no idea what to expect.
It’s got a really zingy and citrusy touch of flavours, which was refreshing. The avocado carried a mild flavour with a slightly nutty touch, which paired well with the passionfruit and truffles.
Fatty Tuna Maki Roll with Horenso Gomaae, Caviar & Gold (£39)
Not every day do I get to indulge in quality sushi, leave alone with caviar and edible gold! The fatty tuna was absolutely luscious and it just melts in your mouth. The caviar on top added an umami touch to it as well.
I absolutely loved the incorporation of the Sesame Spinach Salad, i.e the Horenso Gomaae, in the maki roll. Every component just went so well with one another – it was simply a heavenly treat!
Fun fact, did you know that fresh wasabi takes 3 whole years to grow? I was never a fan of wasabi – never enjoyed mustard, leave alone the punchy wasabi. However, fresh wasabi that was grated straight out of the plant is completely different and truly eye-opening.
First of all, while it’s still punchy, the fresh wasabi actually gives off a refreshing punch instead of the nasty lingering taste I hated. It simply tasted unbelievably clean and smooth to the palate. Regular wasabi versus fresh wasabi tasted almost like completely two different foods.
Upon serving the sushi, the staff will present the fresh wasabi and grate it at the table. Even though wasabi still isn’t on my most favourite food list, it’s the first time I actually don’t mind it and could even find moments where I actually enjoyed it.
Ishiyaki Hot Stone Cooking
On their regular menu, there’re standard combo sets to order from. But for us, we got a little mix-and-match from the chef and got some Australian Picanha Wagyu, XXXL King Prawn, Fatty Tuna, Oyster King Mushrooms, and Asparagus.
Cooking on a hot stone is certainly a fun experience. Hot Stone cooking is an ancient Japanese cooking method. The stone is heated to 400C upon serving and we immediately jumped into action with it.
We started with the Picanha Wagyu first. The flavours were great. It’s leaner than the meat served in the sashimi but still beautifully tender. The fatty tuna completely took me by surprise how luscious it was especially with that melt-in-your-mouth texture. With the XXXL King Prawn, it’s exactly how I would anticipate it and I got it cooked with the perfect al dente texture.
Three different sauces were served as well to go with the food, including the Black Pepper sauce, Spicy Jalapeño Sauce, and Sesame Miso Sauce. We enjoyed all three of them so much and I literally couldn’t decide a favourite out of them.
Sushi Selection Box
I think this was supposed to be served before the hot stone but there were some issues in the kitchen so it ended up being served after.
Nonetheless, this sushi box had still been an absolute delight. There’s a good selection of a little bit of everything. There’s my all-time favourite, the Unagi Sushi but finished with a fancy touch of truffle on top; as well as the Butterfish which we already loved so much from the sashimi earlier. The scallops were absolutely refreshing to taste, with a lovely sear on the outside and a beautifully soft texture on the inside.
My biggest surprise though ought to be the fatty salmon. I never actually enjoyed raw salmon, at least not until now because I probably never had the chance to savour such good quality fatty salmon! This just gets to show how important quality is and how much further it could take your palate down an epic culinary experience.
For dessert, we finished the meal with this delightful slice of Matcha Cheesecake.
It was perfectly creamy yet still light and fluffy in texture. It also carried just the perfect amount of matcha in it – nothing too bitter or overpowering. The matcha was smooth and delicate to taste and went well with the cream cheese.
Throughout our meal, we were served two different mocktails to try out.
The first one was made with Cranberry, Lychee, and Passionfruit. It was certainly a refreshing quencher to have at the beginning of the meal. The lychee really stood out in the drink.
For the second round, we were served with one with Ginger, Pear and Wasabi. This one was all about the Ginger. It’s got the spice of the ginger, plus a refreshing punch from the wasabi.
I’d highly recommend giving Hot Stone Steak & Sushi a visit. The ingredient quality here speaks a huge volume and is bound to take your taste buds through an extraordinary journey. My most favourite thing about it is how it serves such prime quality food without all the pretentiousness that usually comes along with it. Despite service being a bit slow on the day, the overall food experience completely made up for it.
The Australian Wagyu is halal at Hot Stone Steak & Sushi
Nearest station: Angel
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