We started the afternoon snuggled into Jonos, an Irish hole-in-the-wall at Ealing Common watching the Irish V French 6 Nations Rugby...suffice to say, we wont discuss the result. After a few beers and ciders with HalfTwinHelen and BeauBrett, we wandered down the block to what Time Out London has nominated as one of the Top 10 sushi bars in London: Sushi-Hiro.
The restaurant is tiny, with just five tables and ten seats at the sushi bar, and is run by a lovelly bunch of Japanese expats (and 1 local born sushi chef!) It is cash only, and apparently normally quite quiet....normally obviously is when we 4 are not around!
The opening hours are distinctly odd, with no orders taken after 1.30pm or 9pm. (We once watched, astounded, as the Fat Duck’s Heston Blumenthal was refused service at 1.32pm.)
They only serve beer, sake and umeshu (which was plenty fine by us).
We settled into our table, and the urging of HTH and BB I ordered for all of us. Edamame, clam miso (oh god that was good) a round of beers and a flask of hot sake started us off. I also ordered a glass of cold sake - as HTH and BB had never tried it before, but have now been won over to the cause.
Next up was a chefs selection of 4 types of sashimi - mackerel, prawn, otoro-tuna and sea bream. They were all stunning, melt in your mouth goodness. The tuna was just fatty enough that it dissolved in your mouth, whilst the sea bream not only tasted amazing, but was present in a "rose" style. I wasn't overly fussed with the prawn, as coming from Oz...well those little babies we had would have been used as bait. But they still tasted good!
After wading through the sea of happiness that the sashimi had us in, our next round arrived in the form of the Superior Nigiri. Also a side erving of ume-boshi and shiso mini-rolls and crab mini-rolls.
Everything was perfectly prepared, of the utmost freshness and quality. The service was efficient with fresh warm sake coming from glance to the wait-staff, and the chefs were happy to explain what some of the unidentifiable victuals on offer were.
The normally staid chefs were reduced to giggles when I mentioned pie-zuri to them, which leaves me to hope that we will be welcome back there again!
Uxbridge Road, Ealing, W5 3LD
(Opposite Ealing Common Tube)