Friday, 3 April 2009

Sushi Hiroba

Last night, accompanied by some colleagues following a few after work drinks, we went in search of Japanese, in the Holborn area.

I remembered vaguely having read of a recommended pizza place in the vicinity but this was far too vague to be of any use. Japanese it was and we found ourselves at Sushi Hiroba just a few doors along from Holborn tube station.

The signs were good, it was fairly busy, there were a fine array of dishes on show on the conveyor belt and we were seated immediately even though it was fairly late in the evening.

We selected a couple of portions of edamame to share and ordered our choice of main dishes individually. The edamame were good, I’m a big fan in general and it’s hard to get them wrong but I’ve had much better elsewhere. They were blanched and this was evident by the accompanying mouthful of water that came with each pod. Not unpleasant but unwelcome.

Thomas and I shared the Sashimi A next, a selection of 5 pieces each of salmon and tuna. This was faultless and came on a huge bed of finely sliced Daikon (Japanese radish) and cress. I adore sashimi and this was a fine example, gently dunked in soy and wasabi with pickled ginger which was presented immediately following our order, a nice touch.

For the main event a variety or dishes were presented, all looked appetizing, ranging from cucumber sushi rolls to tempura prawns and chicken teriyaki.

I went for the Seafood Yakiudon. This was very pleasing, flavorsome and hearty with thick udon noodles, glistening with soy. A liberal scattering of stir-fried green and red peppers provided a contrasting crunch and the seasonal seafood meant a good portions of prawns, squid and mussels. I liked this dish. Thick udon noodles rarely disappoint I find and despite my chopstick skills needing some honing to say the very least, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The thing that ruined the evening was the service. Young, uninterested girls took our order and seemingly forgot about us, tucked out of the way in the far corner of the dining room. Perhaps they were downstairs enjoying the karaoke which I learnt from their website is offered in the basement. Our green tea was not refilled, Thomas waited and waited for his main course, the Big Teriyaki Chicken (with rice, vegetable and pickles), reminding them on a number of occasions that it had still not arrived, requests which were met with sniggers and giggles. Most infuriating. Some Chicken Teriyaki minus the accompaniying rice etc. arrived and being not what was ordered was sent back. When, finally, Thomas was presented with the correct ordered chicken, we had all long since finished. And, 15 minutes later, when paying the bill, intriguingly, they delivered a second attempt at the dish. Good to see communication between the waiting staff and the kitchen is of the utmost importance at Sushi Hiroba!

The actual dish was satisfactory but not worth the wait. In conclusion I advise you not to go here. Not because I wouldn’t like you to try the food but because the service is atrocious. At almost £20 a head without beer or wine, the price is beaten elsewhere, or matched with far more considerate sevice. And food served in good time. The 12.5% service which was added to the bill was wishful thinking on their part.

Sushi Hiroba
50 Kingsway, WC2

Sushi Hiroba on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Service at sushi hiroba is a major problem which is a far cry from Japanese restaurants where servers are friendly, attentive and very efficient. I remember my last visit when I ordered a bowl of Cold Soba with Tempura Prawns. After half an hour wait I had to remind my server that the I had not received my dish. After another 15 minutes, the bowl of noodles came without the prawns... so another reminder and after another 15 minutes wait, with no prawns in sight and the cold noodles getting warm I simply cut my losses.

Speaking of prawn tempura, the restaurant operates a conveyvor belt system which includes prawn tempura as one of their items. Apparently you can ask them to rewarm the prawns, which begs the question 'HOW?'

Boo said...

Interesting, they clearly have a major problem yes. Warmed up prawn tempura?? Never in a million years can that be a good idea. Thanks for sharing your equally disasterous experience, definitely shall not be returning here.