December 2011

OZU

As you walk into the grand building which houses Ozu you are confronted by a bustling hot plate area where you can see the chefs busily preparing food. If you like you are welcome to eat your dinner at the bar which separates the sushi prep area from the rest of the restaurant.

We had a very friendly waitress who was more than happy to recommend dishes to us; she knew what was the most popular and what to choose for a great flavour combination. I did find that we really needed her advice as there is SO much to choose from on the menu, that it took us a long time and we struggled, as is the way in situations like this we ended up ordering too much food!

The waitress was quite lovely and, as is the Japanese culture, very eager to please. We really tested her English skills, but if you take the time to break the language barrier she had some interesting facts for us. Not least an explanation about the bizarre stuffed animals which surround the restaurant. This is in fact ‘Totoro’ a character from Japanese mythology who supposedly brings good luck. Aside from Totoro though there wasn’t much of a Japanese theme. I would have liked to have seen more artwork or wall hangings to really bring the old town hall building to life.

The atmosphere in OZU is very quiet and relaxing, especially when compared to the hectic nature of the Southbank and all the tourists which we had to fight our way through.

The sushi was quite incredible and very professionally cooked, the chef worked at quite the pace and no sooner had our order gone in than it was order up!

The food was presented perfectly on beautiful rustic plates, everything looked almost too good to eat! I would particularly recommend the Tempura sushi which was a great taste and also had some really interesting textures. All of the dishes had a really authentic flavour to them and we could see several of the staff tucking in to their dinner at the restaurant, this is always a sign that the food is good and well prepared if the staff are willing to eat there too rather than bring something from home or go out.

We had a fabulous time at OZU and I would say that this is probably the best Sushi I’ve ever had in England – quite the accolade. I would highly recommend OZU to anyone looking for an authentic Japanese meal in a relaxing environment.

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