Sushi Tetsu in an exercise in the sublime. But the problem with a 7-seat counter is that you're taking an outsized risk on the other guests dining alongside you.
An opening salvo of sashimi and leaves was interrupted by a Primrose Hill-edition Bratz doll wailing "I DON'T WANT THIS SAKE YOU TAKE IT", thrusting it at her husband 2 seats away. Chef Tetsu began to grate his fingers into the wasabi to take his mind of the nauseating embarrassment of the moment. "I DONT LIKE JAPANESE MINT YOU TAKE IT" she later screeched; thrusting a temaki roll at her trustafarian beau in decidedly unsmart activewear. At this point Chef grimaced, and visibly began blowtorching his lips.
Not even this gut-tightening discomfort could ruin what was a stunning meal. If the rest of the seats at Sushi Tetsu are occupied by Uruk-hai in Jaeger, be prepared for it to detract from the evening.
The restaurant occupies a modest shopfront in Clerkenwell. Tasteful indigo curtains hang above the door to greet you.
We started with a refreshing poké-like mackerel ceviche, like a citrusy French kiss.
A selection of sashimi with accompanying sauces threw up some treasures. Sea bream with ponzu, and scallop smeared in a yuzu mayonnaise.
The nigiri were the highlight. Tetsu sculpted each one with mechanical precision, before placing it delicately on the cedar counter before you. The tuna pieces had an intense savoury that coated the inside of your mouth, and kept you masticating long after you swallowed. A dense sliver of squid, draped across a perfect pinch of fresh wasabi grated on sharkskin moments earlier, was another favourite.
Dinner at Sushi Tetsu is special. Have some respect for the place and let me enjoy each mouthful in peace.