I write from a very different position today as so much has changed since I visited the Westminster Park Plaza by Raddison and its Japanese eat-in dining proposition that is ICHI at the end of February 2020… So grab a glass of wine (we enjoyed a Chablis on the day – so if you have it in the house – go open…) and we will continue from the comfort of your own home.
Set on the first floor of the landmark hotel facing north looking our over Westminster Bridge and Big Ben – this restaurant says so much about city life, a fix we all need right now. Drawing its menu, chefs and decor from the very heart of Japan. We dine at lunch, in the sunshine.
The decor is unsurprisingly red, white and black but this makes sense of course when one considers the vibrance of the sushi and sashimi… they take centre stage in every capacity; presentation, startling colours, freshness and taste…
What is so wonderful about the reviews we do here at Enjoy-It is that more often than not we can invite chef to choose from the menu for us and on this occasion, we handed over the reins and enjoyed the ride!
The cold appetisers were simply stunning. Joined by two eager guests, we suck our way through the edamame beans with lashings of soy as the cold appetisers arrive – thank you chef… scallops jalapeno and yellowtail carpaccio… As house photographer as well as scribbler I am often torn between which I should do first but this was torture – hold back as I make the most of the artistic presentation while being lured by the need to devour this fabulous feast. The Scallops were succulent and fresh, set off by a token jalapeno slice on each scallop. The salad lightly dressed to perfection!
The yellowtail carpaccio again dressed with jalapeno, simply layered in welcome slices large enough to satisfy – the epitome of generous sashimi!
We move onto sushi/hand rolls of salmon crunchy; raw salmon, avocado and cucumber with spicy mayo and the crunch being onion to top. Each individual dish a meal – there is no question on value either each dish averages out at around £10 – makes for a great lunchtime treat… The spicy prawns are presented with spring onion, spicy sauce, asparagus in the roll with a slice of raw salmon on top – get that wasabi kick with each mouthful.
The wine flowed – we tried the saki of course and delighted in a special desert of green tea and chocolate cake mounted by a perfect strawberry! And mochi ice cream – a feat of culinary engineering in terms of taste, texture and temperature – stunning!
This is one for the A/C list for sure, one to fantasise about – make your way to London, book into the hotel, use the spa, adore the life that lives in London and take a long, long lunch in ICHI or indeed a novelty sushi afternoon tea – quite a spectacle and trust me out with the scones and in with the sushi! ICHI is first for sushi and sashimi for sure – an Enjoy-It highlight…