I've been seriously craving some good sushi lately - I'm talking fresh slabs of sashimi and unique maki rolls. So when I was invited to try Broadgate Circle’s newest restaurant by the Aqua Group, Shiro, I did not hesitate to nab it. After all, this was coming from the same brains behind other gorge London gems, Aqua Kyoto and Aqua Nueva. Plus, I was intrigued to try their signature dish: crystal sushi. So how did it hold up?
Walking inside, we were immediately getting date night vibes. While the ambient lighting and stunning ceiling installation added that extra wow factor, it was the colours that oozed Japanese minimalism. We were in a backdrop filled with sage, beige and silver tones and I was here for it. In addition, there was an open kitchen so we can see chefs cook up a storm.
I kicked off the evening with the plum and ginger margarita (£14) which was a heady blend of Topatio Blanco Tequila, plum sake, yuzu, and ginger. There was also a hint of chilli which added some edge to an otherwise sweeter drink. Meanwhile, my other half was feeling one of the Japanese whiskies and sipped on a glass of 12-year-old Glenfiddich (£13). Smooth with smoky notes, it was an excellent start.
For starters, I was eyeing up the spicy tuna and salmon tartare (£20). Served with crispy lotus chips, the tartare was divided into two compartments (one for each type of fish) alongside little wooden spoons for scooping - basically the fanciest chips and dip I’ve ever had. We then opted for the soft-shell crab tempura (£16), which was my boyfriend’s favourite. The savouriness was accentuated with a yummy yama gobo slaw, providing some nice acidity.
Next, we were given the omakase deluxe edomae sushi (£33) which was essentially a chef’s selection. This was where the crystal sushi came in - think a reimagined take on traditional maki rolls, using hand-crafted jelly to give a glossy effect. We were treated to the fatty salmon - topped with sake jelly and garnished using salmon roe. The jelly itself was slightly minty without overpowering the fish. For me though, it didn't really taste too out of the ordinary but it gets a 10/10 for presentation.
Other highlights included fresh slabs of seabream. Key tip: add a bit of lemon juice on top and it’s heavenly. We also wolfed down the spicy tuna roll topped with a killer chilli mayonnaise - ideal if you're after the classics. All in all, I’d recommend this platter so you can try a little bit of everything.
For mains (believe it or not – that wasn’t the main), we decided to nab the Australian wagyu bavette (£33) and this really stole the show. Juicy, tender and oozing a slight umami flavour, this was by far my favourite dish of the evening. It was also served alongside a braised daikon – a slowly simmered radish. We also ordered the grilled tiger prawns (£14) which were plump, succulent and elevated when you dipped each morsel in yaki ebi sauce.
As the evening was drawing to a close, we fancied something sweet. My boyfriend ordered the black sesame fondant with vanilla ice cream (£9) while I grabbed the matcha green tea tiramisu (£9). When his plate arrived, I instantly had food envy. His fondant had a beautiful floral print while the cake underneath was oozing chocolate. And when I managed to steal a bite, it was divine. Meanwhile, mine was definitely a little underwhelming. The green tea overpowered the dish to the point where I felt like I was just tasting tea leaves. And while served in a pretty glass, I wasn’t really getting the tiramisu vibes. However, I’m sure matcha fanatics might disagree with my take...
The DesignMyNight Digest
When it comes to Shiro's London menu, it really was a fabulous dining experience. The food really checked off all the boxes from quality to presentation and originality. And while the prices are a little steep, it's definitely got my stamp of approval for your next date night. My recommendation? The salmon and tuna tartare was sublime. And if you're a lover of steak, the wagyu bavette will go down a treat.
💰 The damage: Around £160 between two, plus service charge.
📍 The location: 100 Broadgate, Liverpool St, London EC2M 2QS.
👌 Perfect for: Date nights and swanky nights out with pals.
⭐ Need to know: Shiro has just launched free-flowing dinners on Fridays.
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