Wind back the clocks 10 years or so and one probably would have reasonably imagined that the whole ‘let’s do sushi’ thing was going to be a bit of a fad. Our palettes are used to big, rich flavours so a diet of subtle fish on a bed of rice was surely going to last as long as a Big Brother contestant’s celebrity career! However, with an ever growing list of Japanese restaurants in Soho, the ‘sushi thing’ is clearly here to stay.
Having opened in 1998, Satsuma is one of the early pioneers of the quick and healthy Japanese dining concept. The contemporary space offers a modern but casual dining venue, with diners taking position at long communal wooden tables, delivering a buzzing friendly dining environment.
With its cheap and cheerful menu, it’s not difficult to see why Satsuma has been around for so long. It’s most renowned for its Bento Boxes which comprise of a lot of food for not a lot of money. The Satsuma Bento, for example, contains salmon and tuna sashimi, chicken yakitori, prawn katsu, a vegetable roll, seafood salad and miso soup for £17.
We decided to pick our way around the menu, which featured all of the traditional dishes we’ve come to expect, including sushi, gyozu and various noodle dishes. The Chicken Katsu featured a punch-in-the-face robust curry sauce and was big enough to feed an entire office block of the local diet conscious marketing girls, whilst the fish dishes were well prepared and reasonably fresh. With heavy flavours and large portions, it’s a long way from the delicate dishes of far more authentic Japanese restaurants, but with their great prices, it certainly makes a sound proposition for a quick, healthy and hearty meal.
Cuisine type: Japanese
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £25
56 Wardour Street