Restaurant Review: SUSHISAMBA

SUSHISAMBA London, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY, tel 020 3640 7330


Designer dining? Yes please. Web Editor Sophie Ritchie feasts on sushi and more in the sky at SUSHISAMBA


SUSHISAMBA, much like a celebrity household name, is a place that provokes a chorus of “oohs” once you’ve announced you’re been acquainted. And it’s not hard to see why – with gorgeous decor and panoramic views offering sweeping views across the city, it’s worth the visit for the window-peering alone. That, and the lift – which levitates upwards with such force you question whether you might shoot out into the clouds like a Charlie and The Chocolate Factory scene. You don’t, of course, but you’ll emerge with popped ears and a mildly giddy grin – or perhaps that’s just me.

Post-joy ride, the awaiting SUSHISAMBA bar on the 38th floor of Heron Tower in Bishopsgate is buzzing with lively energy as we make our way across. Even at 7pm on a Wednesday night, it’s filling up fast with a crowd of the city’s cool list. We snake through the room to the actual restaurant with its impressively high ceilings and find ourselves led straight to one of the best tables in the house, with seats facing out into the night sky.

SUSHISAMBA London, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY, tel 020 3640 7330

I’m dining with a close friend I haven’t seen in a while but we both stare at the view in silence before the overdue catching up starts. When lorries look like ants and buildings look like lego, it’s hard not to be impressed. At least, until your stomach rumbles.

Our waiter for the evening suggests we try a selection of dishes of his choosing and explains the concept behind the worldwide brand – SUSHISAMBA offers a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. Dishes are mingled and it’s best to try a selection of small and sharing plates to get a taste of everything. The menu’s vast, with eight sections, so this makes things easier. We agree to try a range of favourites, plus Vivienne Westwood’s new Amazon-inspired dish. Designer dinner? Yes please.

We start with a selection of little dishes to share – the Crispy Taquitos (£15/ea) are utterly moreish – a spicy mouthful of yellowtail topped with creamy avocado served in roasted corn miso, as is the scallop sashimi (£12) and shrimp tempura with black truffle vinaigrette (£14). The plates are delicate – just enough to whet your appetite before moving on to the next.

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Next up is the star of the show – Dame Vivienne Westwood’s limited edition Rain Forest Revolution dish (£13). Created specially by the brand’s Corporate Chef Claudio Cardoso alongside Vivienne, the special vegetarian dish aims to help raise money for the charity Cool Earth (which works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction).

The menu description (rice, coriander, feijoada beans, wasabi-yuzu tofu emulsion, robata asparagus, aji verde, crispy yuba, poached egg, nasturtium – what a mouthful!) makes it sound far more complicated than it appears. The dish resembles that of a large playing card, inspired by Vivienne’s own Climate Revolution Playing Cards.

The finished creation is simple enough and looks beautiful, especially the intricately drawn details. It’s surprisingly light and slicing your fork through the gooey poached egg makes satisfiying entertainment as it spreads across the plate.

Kobe Nigiri Sushisamba

Our stomachs show no sign of slowing down, so we move on to a vast selection of SUSHISAMBA’s favoured sushi rolls and a heaving sashimi platter. An avid fan of the latter, I devour the succulent Toro tuna belly (£16), fresh salmon (£9) and Hamachi Yellow Tail (£12) faster than you can say wasabi. The SAMBA London rolls are especially good too, with a mixture of fresh fish, avocado and tempura crunch.

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A meal here is far more than just the motion of lifting a knife and fork – staff have perfected the art of being attentive without overbearing, and our charming waiter for the night explains each dish in detail – even though it’s a little hard to hear above the hustle and bustle of fellow diners.

The sky-high feast’s not quite over yet, and our edible show ends with a decadent dessert to share between us. Inside a closed bowl awaits an earthy dish (£13) fittingly named ‘Welcome To The Rain Forest.’ Definitely one for the sweet tooth’s hit list, the hefty mound of asháninka chocolate, coffee, sugar cane and macadamia nut offers just the right amount of naughtiness – without a whiff of greenery in sight. As usual, one bite becomes one bowl, and soon we’re licking our spoons clean whilst sipping the last of our saké.

The verdict
SUSHISAMBA – delicious, decadent and designer-clad dining. Pricy, yes – but worth every pound.

Make it happen
Where: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Bookings: Click here or phone 020 3640 7330  to make a reservation

Written by Sophie Ritchie. Find Sophie on Instagram here 

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Web Editor for Good Things