Danish restaurant chain Sticks ’n’ Sushi, offering Asian-inspired cuisine, has gone down a storm in Copenhagen, boasting 9 branches over there and now, one right here in Wimbledon.
The Scandinavian passion for design is evident from the first footstep as a sophisticated clean-lined, modern, relaxed décor greets diners; retaining the gorgeous bare brick walls and high ceiling of the former coach-house, coupled with long leather-topped tables, famed ‘Kennedy‘ chairs and darkened windows.
The service is friendly and knowledgeable, and the food impressive. Think Bincho yakitori meets Nobu sushi - yes, it's that good. The sourcing of the ingredients explains why; Sticks ‘n’ Sushi has it’s own rice field in California, where they grow and export top-quality Japanese rice (as the Japanese are loathe to export their own) which is then expertly cooked.
The fusion of food is creative and adventurous; BBQ sauce shouldn't work on raw fish. It really shouldn't. But it does. And the ‘Hell’s Kitchen Roll’ (£12, 8 pieces) pulls it off spectacularly: a shrimp tempura and avocado inside-out roll, draped with a piece of delicately sauce-blobbed tuna proves to be a strangely addictive combination, as does the ’wrap’ (£5.80) of lettuce-laid avocado sandwiched between duck breast and topped with gleaming citrus yuzu jelly.
Of course the other highlight is the ‘sticks’, as the grilled yakitori (£2- £4.80) are spot on too. Other delectable delights include ‘Large Chaos’ chirashi zushi (£19.80) and ‘House Aquarium’ salad (£13.90), both loaded-up with various fishy treats.
Drinks and desserts also do not disappoint. Try a super-sweet Geisha Girl (£5.80) or The Junmai Daiginjo sake (£28/£55, 300ml/720ml); beautifully scented, smooth and subtle as water. Forget calorie counting and dive headfirst into the melty centre of an espresso fondant with hazelnut ice cream (£6).
The A La Carte menu is not much more expensive than your average Nippon foodie hangout, and given the quality, it’s worth it. That’s the whole idea; ‘affordable luxury’ is the ethos here, and if you don’t want to rack up the cash on bits and bobs there is a whole menu of individual sets (£6.50 - £27) or large sharing platters, ranging between £15 - £30 per person. Hardcore Japanese food snobs are notoriously hard to please - but here, we think they will be.
Sticks ‘n’ Sushi is at 58 Wimbledon Hill Road, SW19 7PA and will open Wednesday 14 March.
We dined courtesy of the restaurant as part of press previews.