Keiten zushi, as it’s known in Japan, is quite simple – you’re sat by a conveyor belt upon which numerous small dishes (mostly sushi) slowly sail past. When you see one that takes your fancy, yoink it, devour, and then return your hawk-eyed gaze to the food parade (the only downside being the passive aggressive glances of other people who covet your goods, and/or the guilt of procuring it). Stack up your plates which are colour-coded for price, pay your bill and leave feeling smug in the knowledge that you opted for an enlightened lunch instead of a burger and a pint.
K10 is one such establishment – a quick, easy and healthy hangout to get a smattering of sushi instantly. The company already has a branch on London Wall, but have now ventured further into Liverpool Street, offering restaurant meals as well as takeaway.
The space comprises wooden slats and glass. A cherry blossom motif curves its way around the front windows. High ceilings and minimal décor create a natural, earthy air that is modern while maintaining a traditional and quintessentially oriental feel.
From the outset, the staff are exceptionally polite, friendly and helpful. Immediately seated, coat taken, drinks ordered, the plate smash-grab commences. There are traditional crowd pleasers – including the most authentic and tasty karaage (deep fried chicken) we’ve had in a while, and light, fluffy ebi (prawn) tempura, which were faultless.
The eatery is competitively priced — no more expensive, or cheap, than the nearby Moshi Moshi. Where it really holds the edge over its rotating rivals, though, including the Godfather of Yo!, is through sheer variety and imagination. There are over 100 dishes to choose from, with a multitude of successfully executed fusion offerings, such as the tuna tataki, served up with thick miso (soy bean paste) and mustard dip, instead of the usual ponzu (citrus soy), and a pleasant sunblush tomato futomaki roll wrapped in aubergine, delightfully refreshing for the spring (when it decides to bloody show up).
The drinks selection is small, but very well chosen. Sake from Yamagata prefecture is always a winner, and the Dewazakura Sake (300ml/£19.50) is delicately light and floral, and as such didn’t last very long. Good old Asahi Beer is also available, and unlimited water is on tap for a quid, as is the Japanese Green tea.
As solid as the boozy offerings are, a wider range of drinks certainly wouldn’t go amiss in a venue such as this, to appeal to the suits who wish to have an after-hours tipple. Japan is a paradise of fruity dessert wines, such as plum (ume shu), sparkling sakes are growing in popularity and a creamy Sapporo beer wouldn’t be unwelcome either.
In addition to the central location, there are often some promotions on offer, including a take away (sushi/hot plate, edamame, drink) for £6.50. For a sushi experience in the City, this is definitely worth visiting. Plus, you get to pretend you’re in Japan.
K10 Broadgate, 3 Appold Street, London EC2A 2AF
Disclaimer: We review anonymously and pay for all our meals/drinks, but later obtained images are from the restaurant.