Sushi at Hare and Tortoise

Date January 28, 2010 | Map

Another day, another sushi – it really is commonliner’s sushi week. And save the best for last, no conveyor belt this time, but the all-time affordable favourite Hare & Tortoise at The Brunswick in Bloomsbury. The H&T is without doubt my most-visited restaurant in London, thanks not only to its proximity to my workplace, but rather to its very good value for money: for less than £10, you get a decent Wagamama-style meal, just better. And even though H&T now have a few branches, they are not anywhere near as ubiquituous as Wagamama. And better still: they serve sushi.

Hare and Tortoise, by Kake_Pugh via flickr.com

Hare and Tortoise, by Kake_Pugh via flickr.com

They did not always have sushi on their menu. They started serving the Japanese signature dish about three years ago. It is good to see a restaurant constantly improve; from the opening of branches beyond Bloomsbury, to the relocation during the renovation of The Brunswick (when H&T moved from one to the other side of the Renoir Cinema) with an interesting push towards friendlier service, to the expansion of the menu, H&T’s development has been thoroughly positive, while they kept the prices down. Plus, they are still sticking to their no reservations policy, so queues are a regular sight. Unexplicably, though, the queues seem to have shortened a bit; good especially for lunch customers, as 45 minute wait times were occasionally stretching lunch breaks a bit too much, but shorter queues do make me wonder about the state of business. However, as long as there are queues, they can’t go wrong.

Hare and Tortoise Bloomsbury, by Kake_Pugh via flickr.com

Hare and Tortoise Bloomsbury, by Kake_Pugh via flickr.com

The sushi was good as always. We ordered a salmon selection plus additional extras including the world-class vegetable tempura. Even though H&T sushi is not necessarily much more expensive than the better conveyor belt chains, I think the sushi here has a much better quality. But perhaps the atmosphere adds to this impression: conveyor belt restaurants always have a fast food atmosphere around them, while this is a proper restaurant, though one of the rather loud and rushed kind with not much space. Yet the sashimi was brilliant, as were the various rolls, so today we made a pact to come here for lunch once a week between now and April.

London Eating Review



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