The 12 course Nigiri tasting menu at Sushi on Jones has got to be London’s best value Japanese Omakase. Seated, served and sorted in less than an hour, and priced at £48 a head, it’s as much an experience as an oishi meal.
Sushi on Jones is one of a handful of eateries located in the courtyard at Goods Way Kings Cross, a lively London spot for food, music and cocktails. It offers a contemporary twist on the traditional Japanese Omakase.
Intimate and engaging, the L shape counter seats around eight. Over 45 minutes we were served a stream of sushi dishes, chosen and prepared by chef Mattia Aranini.
The first Sushi on Jones opened in Manhattan in 2016. This London outpost was its first international offer.
What is Japanese Omakase?
With Omakase, there’s no need to paw over an à la carte menu, to debate the merits of which dish to order, instead you just sit and feast. As a customer, it’s liberating and exciting. You’re on a gastronomic roller coaster, albeit one that travels at a leisurely pace, and has sake on tap.
Part of the fun of any Omakase is the interaction with the chef. He announces each fish, tells you where it was caught. As he deftly moulds his sushi rice, Chef Mattia relates how he spent 12 years working under a sushi chef.
The banter is infectious. We started chatting to the two couples who were also booked into our time slot.
But there’s also plenty of silence, as you savour each offering, nodding appreciatively after each juicy mouthful. Some of the taste combinations surprise, but only in a good way.
Chef Mattia tells us that he’s not yet been to Japan, the pandemic put paid to his plans to visit Tokyo, but he talks enthusiastically of the giant scallops he imports from Hokkaido. “They’re so buttery and hold their texture” he says, sprinkling them with sea salt. He experimented with Scottish scallops but found them too large, and they crumbled when worked.
Also imported from Japan are Wagyu beef and wasabi, but much of the fish comes from UK coastal waters.
Sushi on Jones tasting menu tested
We asked Chef Mattia to choose sake pairings to go with his menu, but there’s Japanese beer and whiskey available too. To partner the first half of the Omakase, we sipped Junmai Ginjo, a light and fruity sake that’s ideally paired with white fish.
It proved the perfect accompaniment to white halibut, sourced from Cornwall, served with a smattering of lime zest.
There were appreciative murmurs from all around the table when yellow tail was served with truffle from Italy. Pickled mackerel, from Cornwall, was similarly wolfed down.
Wild salmon, sourced from Scotland, was served with cucumber purée, a fresh and buttery mouthful. As we eagerly awaited each course, we completely forgot we were on the clock.
When the Omakase moved to stronger flavours, such as mackerel and wagyu, we shifted to Junmai daiginjo, from Soto, which is smooth but robust.
It proved a refreshing sip partnered by lean blue fin tuna, sourced from Spain, and aged for two weeks.
There’s also black bream, aged in seaweed for three days, served with fresh ginger. Chef Mattia says he spend three years perfecting the ageing technique. The process differs for every fish, dictated by the amount of fat in the flesh, he confides.
The meal reaches its crescendo with fatty tuna, slightly torched, with pickled radish, and wagyu beef, dressed with a soy sauce glaze, and again swiftly torched. Chef Mattia certainly knows how to leave you wanting more…
And of course, you can go off-piste. We couldn’t resist adding a side of Crispy Rice (£15), comprising salmon and tuna served with eel sauce and a truffle and porcini mushroom spread. We’ll save the Wagyu ribeye steak and caviar (£28) for another visit…
Sushi on Jones, London – verdict
Sushi on Jones is a bona fide Omakase treat. The quality of the sushi is excellent. The restaurant is small but airy, and has a great atmosphere, generated by the Chef and his team, and the location, just a short walk from Kings Cross station, is ultra convenient.
For Japanese food fans, and culinary curious, it comes highly recommended. It’s also perfect for time-starved Londoners, business luncheons, and solo dining.
Location: 11 Goods Way, London N1C 4PW (1st floor)
rice: 12 course tasting menu, £48 per head
To book your Omakase experience, book online here.