Soho’s Temakinho is certainly doing its bit to bring something of the South American sunshine to Old Compton Street. Just two minutes walk from the Palace Theatre, this cool little restaurant specialises in Japanese-Brazilian fusion cooking.
First things first: this restaurant is drop dead gorgeous. Take one step inside and you’re going to want to stick every inch of it on Instagram. With a downstairs dining area, and smaller mezzanine bar at street level, the main floor is decked out with palm print walls, wicker chairs and a long tiled bar.
Some of the dishes will seem eccentric to the average British sausage-and-mash-raised taste bud; scallops and passion fruit, salmon and banana, tuna and coconut milk. Honestly, there is no ‘safe’ option here, so I recommend diving in the deep end, because you're in the safest hands at Temakinho.
We grab a couple of larger sushi sharing plates, which are split between traditional rice rolls and temaki - giant seaweed wrapped handrolls. For ease of sharing, we stick to the old-fashioned rice rolls which arrive on plates decorated with long, green banana leaves and garnished with pickled ginger. The Rio Bananal (£12) is full of breaded salmon, banana and drizzled with tangy sauce, it’s a revelation in sushi. From the crunch of the salmon to the light-as-air cream cheese, it’s a delightful surprise from top-to-bottom.
Nestled inside rings of soft, delicately flavoured rice, the Vieira Maracuja (£12) is a mix of scallops, mint, flying fish roe, sesame seeds and passion fruit. While it’s one of the less colourful offerings on the menu, pop it in your mouth and experience an explosion of flavour as sharp, fresh passion fruit mingles with sweet scallops to set off every hedonic hotspot in my brain. We also get a little plate of Maresia (£4.50), crunchy, kataifi pasta covered rolls, overflowing with more soft soft scallops and passion fruit, but bedded down with avocado and more of that fluffy cream cheese.
If you’re looking for a restaurant experience that will take your taste buds on a journey from the Orient to the Americas in one bite then Temakinho is a must-visit. Bringing the finest Brazilian sushi in Soho, its cool and relaxed atmosphere makes it a top spot for pre-theatre, post-work or just a regular Tuesday evening.
Temakinho Soho is open from Monday to Thursday from noon until 3.30pm and from 5.30pm until 11pm, and from Friday to Sunday from noon until 11.00pm. at 10 Old Compton Street London W1D 4TF.