Raw Talent

Wimbledon editor Chris Salzano enjoys a delicious raw treat of a Japanese lunch with a Korean twist in SW19
I love Japanese food. It’s delicious but light – perfect for a lunch date with the hubby. So on a wet Friday lunchtime we found ourselves in the warm, relaxed setting of Sumi-ka with its dark wood interior and soft gold touches – simple but stylish.

We took a seat by the window and were joined by head sushi chef Jason Han. Sumi-ka has been open just three months and already there is a steady stream of locals as well as fans of Jason, who is well known in the New Malden area he tells us, through the doors.

And it didn’t take us long to see why. It’s good – really good. We had planned the lunch as chance to forward plan (you know how it is with work and kids) but once the food was out, we could talk of nothing else – punctuated only with the odd appreciative sound.

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After starting with edamame, we moved on to the house salad: cherry tomatoes, silk tofu with edamame beans, avocado, yuzu honey and beetroot wafers which was fresh, zesty and colourful.

Next up was the spicy rock shrimp tempura. The batter was light and crisp to the bite but inside were moist, almost melt-inyour- mouth shrimp with a smoky flavour thanks to having been marinated in a stock for 24 hours. The tuna tartar came beautifully presented with tomato dashi jelly and yuzu foam. Again it was a real taste sensation – light and tantalizing on the tastebuds.

Jason is a skilled modern sushi chef. Originally from South Korea he’s worked at the Westbury Hotel and Yoshi Sushi, he tells us. The food has his own unique Korean twist – with distinct smoky flavours – like the chicken thighs and breast in honey glaze, and the shredded beef which had a good chilli kick. The smoked sumi sushi (scallop, mackerel, Yellowtail and salmon belly with plum) had been gently warmed which gave it a melt-in-the-mouth feel – delicious.

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I’d liked to have tried the sesame or yuzu mochi ice cream but lunchtime was over and we were more than satisfied. We will be returning here I am sure – once we sort out a time to forward plan!

SUMI-KA 20 Leopold Road, Wimbledon SW19 7BD
www.sumi-ka.co.uk 020 3556 8360

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