Brummell recommends: Bisushima

The Japanese concept restaurant in Charing Cross welcomes us back to in-house dining with incredible food, delectable cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere

Food and Drink 1 Jul 2021

Bisushima's rooftop with views over London
The bar at Bisushima
Deep-fried baby squid

The background
Representing the transformation between day and night, the menus at Bisushima explore a culinary style that echoes the melodic flow of nature, mirroring the Japanese concept of ‘enso’ [the oneness of life]. Combining creative Japanese cooking with locally-sourced natural ingredients, diners can expect an elevated selection of flavoursome dishes.

The space
Accessed by a lift, the top floor restaurant is flanked on either side by windows allowing the early evening light to flood into the modern space. On one side the restaurant’s terrace houses tables of two with rooftop views of Charing Cross. The brightly lit and well-stocked bar area sits at the foot of the restaurant, welcoming you in with its amber glow and comfortable stool seating. As you move into the restaurant, spacious circular booths sit back-to-back in the centre, and round wooden tables are situated on either side by the windows. Counter top seating is available overlooking the buzzing open kitchen. As the evening darkens, bright pink LED uplighters add a playful vibrance to tables and around the kitchen counter, which matches the upbeat atmosphere.

The menu
We kicked off our Japanese feast by tucking into a selection of cold appetizers. The deliciously delicate homemade tofu purée with smoked salmon and vegetables in a tosazu jelly came artfully presented in a martini glass, followed by a vibrant salad of mixed vegetables elevated with a sesame dressing and a moreish trout carpaccio topped with ikura and red radish in yuzu dressing and tosazu jelly. A sharing bowl of light and crispy baby fried squid with a coriander dressing separated our starters and mains, for which we ordered yuan chicken risotto – sumptuously tender corn-fed yuan-infused chicken with shiitake mushrooms – and yuan miso Chilean seabass – complete with a delicious chargrilled skin and accompanied by the sweetest baby carrots. Taking a moment to cleanse our palates with a refreshing Kuyashii cocktail (vodka, yuzushu, vermouth, basil and tonic), we awaited the arrival of the chef’s selection of mouth-watering nigiri and maki (including masu shiso maki, deliciously elevated with the unique addition of the Japanese herb shiso) accompanied by a pleasing bowl of miso soup. With just enough room for dessert, we rounded off our feast perfectly with assorted fruits with shiratama and cardamom syrup and an incredible miso cheesecake with lemon sorbet that we have not been able to stop thinking about since.

The price
Feast for two including cocktails, around £250.

The verdict
Serving up a feast fit for an emperor, Bisushima is one of those rare places you are guaranteed to enjoy any dish, regardless of what you order. The menu is generous so if you can’t decide, close your eyes and make a random choice. We would lay money that wherever you finger lands you’ve made a good pick.

Bisushima, 8 St. Martin’s Place, London WC2N 4JH;