20 James Street
London W1U 1EH
0207 491 1178
Monday to Sunday 11-8pm
It’s absolutely amazing how easy it is to overlook this little take-away place. Located on one of the streets off Oxford Street, surrounded by lots of eating places, Atari-ya is very easy to miss. Also, the fact that it is just a take away shop, with just about 10 seats inside, and about 6 more outside, makes it seem like yet another lousy sushi take-away. However, the quality of the food is unlike what you would expect from a take out.
We first read about this place because of an online review, which mentioned that Sushi Hiro gets its produce from the Atari-ya chain. In fact, another review somewhere else mentioned that Atari-ya supplies the sashimi to Nobu as well. We’re not sure how true this is, but since we like the food at both Sushi Hiro and Nobu, especially the sashimi at Sushi Hiro, we wanted to go to Atari-ya and check it out.
The first thing we have to mention is the prices. We were shocked to find out how cheap the sashimis are at Atari-ya. For £1.70 you can get 3 slices of salmon sashimi, or 3 slices of scallop sashimi. The entire list of sashimi rivals any top notch Japanese restaurant, and I dare say that the sashimi at Atari-ya is fresher, and more thickly cut than those you’ll get at most Japanese restaurants around. As I’m typing this I’m seriously craving for their scallop sashimi.
We’ve been there twice now, and we’ve had their salmon, scallop, sweet prawn, sea bass and fatty tuna sashimi. All of them have been consistently good. The slices are thick and generous, and everything is incredibly fresh. For both of our visits we went at about 3pm, yet the quality of the sashimi wasn’t compromised. We recommended this place to QJ, and she couldn’t stop raving about it when she came back after her visit. She had as well the yellowtail, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
We’ve also had the ikura and the tobikko sushi; both were not bad as well, though the tobiko came with wasabi as we forgot to tell them to not include any wasabi. A notes that the tobikko was a little salty, as if it was soaked in soya sauce. On our second visit we decided to try their maki rolls, and we ordered the spider roll and the black cod roll. The spider roll was disappointing, and contained very little soft shell crab, but the black cod roll was pretty nice, though not something we would order again.
In short, Atari-ya is pretty much the best place in London to go for fresh sashimi and sushi. We simply can’t stress that enough. The fact that it’s just a modest take-away is just mind-blowing. The prices are cheaper than what we get in Singapore, and the quality of their fish is incomparable.