There’s a town in Pennsylvania called Roseto that is known for its unusually low rate of heart disease. In the mid-20th century, there was almost no record of heart attacks reported in the town and research shows that it was their strong sense of community that was responsible for the good health and long lives.
Whilst I’m sure that we are all far too aware of the what’s taking over the headlines at the moment, I can’t help feel it’s relevant to start this feature by mentioning the real sense of community and friendliness that I felt when I visited Hot Stone London recently. It’s at weird times like these where people really shine through, and the staff at this cute Japanese gem just a stones’ throw away from Angel station were no exception.
Hot Stone London, known for its sushi and excellent service is one of only a handful of restaurants in the UK to serve freshly grated Japanese wasabi at the table and certified Kobe beef on 400°c hot stones.
The walls were adorned with colourful, hand-painted depictions of mount Fuji and mythical Japanese dragons by artist Mari Nishinura and there’s a beautiful Cherry Blossom feature in the back corner of the main dining space which is perfect for the ‘gram.
The space isn’t the only thing that looks good, there’s an abundance of food that is almost too pretty to eat, with:
• Picture-perfect signature maki rolls. Our favourites were the seared fatty tuna, king prawn truffle and caviar
• Sashimi boxes packed with salmon, seabass, tuna, octopus, yellowtail and butterfish
• For the veggies – Grilled aubergine, saikyo miso & sesame
• And oysters, seaweed & Tosazu sauce, and optional caviar if you wish – ooh la la!
Good food is even better when you get to hear the story behind its creation. Our brilliant waiter Reuben was on hand all evening to explain the fascinating details behind each dish. My personal favourite being the special Omakase: a sushi and sashimi box that had 7 pieces of sushi selected by head chef Padam Raj Rai. There’s no set menu for these boxes, but Padam picks out whichever premium ingredients he has to hand (such as wagyu, truffle and caviar) and constructs each piece before bringing them to your table and introducing each one.
Reuben also really took the time to explain the name behind the restaurant. A hot (400°c) lava stone that is traditionally used in Japanese cooking to sear meat, seafood and vegetables. Mid-way through dinner, the cooking is firmly in our hands. We were taught the art of searing premium Kobe beef for 30 seconds on each slide before finely slicing and serving. Accompanied by dipping sauces, the Wagyu beef was definitely the star of the hot stone show. Note: we recommend attempting this before you’ve tried the haruka and gin cocktails!
Once things are back to normal, let’s all head to Angel, get the lychee martinis flowing and cheers to friends, family and fab sushi.
To discover more and book, visit: hotstonelondon.com
By Jen Stubley
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