After undergoing an extensive makeover, Ginza Onodera (formally Matsuri) has finally reopened serving traditional Japanese cuisine.
Head chef Ryosuke Kishi takes a lot of his influences from his time working in Japan. He has created an extensive menu using traditional Japanese techniques, resulting in a focus on sushi, sashimi and dishes grilled on the Robata.
To begin we sampled the Spicy Tuna Tartare with a spicy miso sauce and roasted pine nuts. The tuna had a nice chilli kick and the pine nuts added the needed texture and crunch. We also tried the Turbot Kobujime Usuzukuri. A traditional Japanese starter, it comprises thin slices of cactus-fed turbot, marinated in kelp and served with three traditional accompaniments. The turbot is accompanied by dried seaweed, soy dressing, wasabi and a chilli ginger paste and you are encouraged to take the thinly sliced turbot, fill it and roll into your own sushi-like treat! The turbot was so delicate it took some trial and error to ensure the other flavours didn’t overpower it.
To follow we tried a selection of sushi and sashimi and we can honestly say it’s probably some of the best we’ve ever had! The selection of three sashimi (which varies due to seasonality of fish) included salmon, yellowtail and marbled tuna. More thickly sliced than we were used to, it can only be testament to the quality of the fish. The marbled tuna literally melted in your mouth – no chewing required! It was truly one of the most delicious things we’ve eaten. The sushi assortment we sampled included salmon, squid, yellowtail, tuna, sea bream, scallop and more of that amazing marbled tuna! Served on a bed of rice with a dash of wasabi to keep the fish in place, again it simply allowed the freshness of the fish to shine.
Next up was a Ginza Onodera specialty – Norfolk Black Chicken Yakitori. The chicken was charcoal grilled with Japanese leek and came with a sweet soy sauce, alongside seven(!) dried chillies or Szechuan pepper mixes to dip into. The grill lent a smoky flavour to the tender chicken and the sweetness of the glaze was balanced out by the spiciness of the chillies and pepper.
Next up we tried two dishes from the Robata a la carte – Black Cod Saikyo-yaki and Kobe Beef. The black cod was so tender it fell apart on touch and the sweetness of the caramelised marinade complemented the delicate fish. And the Kobe beef – wow! Cooked to absolute perfection, the flavour was unbelievable – the marbled beef melted before you’d barely begun chewing!
The prices at Ginza Onodera are undoubtedly higher than usual, but if you’re after a meal you won’t forget for a very special occasion, we can highly recommend it here. There’s nothing we ate that we wouldn’t very happily (read: jump at the chance) eat again, and there’s plenty more we’d love to try. We’ll be dropping hints to our other half for any upcoming anniversaries, birthdays, etc.!
Alternatively, private dining experiences are available. Six counters and bijou private rooms (exclusively for sushi, teppanyaki, or robata grills), are available, all with their own private chef, and are designed for parties no larger than six. Tasting menus start from £45 at lunch and £150 at dinner.