So where was I?
Before I went on a rant about my sushi likings…ah yes!
I found a fishmonger here in London that does fresh sashimi! Not just letting me buy a chunk of what they claim to be “sashimi grade” tuna/salmon (like most fish places) but a whole sashimi platter v(｡･ω･｡)yay♪
Most fishmongers here when you ask them…
“Which ones are sashimi grade?”
They would point me towards a sketchily looking hunk of tuna (which is already going brown slightly or in a vacuum sealed pack) or a chunk of salmon (orange colored to a point that makes me think it’s been colored artificially before vacuum sealed). Now as a lover of seafood and as a native Japanese personnel…I cannot in good conscience support such tragic situations.
Therefore I did a bit of digging into English fishmongers in the London area and came up with a few.
I heard Canary Wharf also has a 5:00 AM fresh seafood market…but living on the other side of London made me trash that idea rather quickly…perhaps if I was motivated one fine day…and if I had a friend who lived in Canary Wharf…or I was just in the neighborhood at that time…(´-ω-｀)…yeah probably unlikely at the moment.
So my next go to in any city is “Japanese Housewife Blogs”. This is one of the best sources for information regarding eateries, shopping, tourist, etc. I mainly use this as a way to find new restaurants in the city I land in. Reason being my taste and theirs is more similar than most of the foreign food bloggers out there.
Most of the blogs mentioned the Japan Centre which is centrally located in London with a lot of sashimi…but knowing how much Japanese groceries cost in London after going to a few of these places I realized it would not be a good idea. Plus I managed to bring most Japanese stuff I need in my suitcase, and they should last me until hopefully Feb 2017 (and fingers crossed I get a visitor from the area by then so I can give them a shopping list).
Then there was an entry for a French owned fishmonger in Marylebone and Primrose Hill. I was skeptical at first but it turns out they have a Japanese women working there! She does a sashimi platter for a much reasonable price, with better quality than the grocery store made ones at Japan Centre.
So I shot her an email after finding her on Instagram, Yahoo! Japan Blogs, and via the shop’s main website. Yes, I felt like a stalker, but her Japanese blog made me laugh so hard I just binge read it all…plus she seemed to have a good sense of humor which is always nice to have.
I managed to go to the Primrose Hill one first, and it’s in such a lovely neighborhood! The fishmonger is French owned so you hear more French spoken than English there among the workers. Kind of reminded me of being in Paris with all the French around! It’s a neighborhood shop so you see a lot of nice British gentlemen and madam coming in and out buying seafood for their meals. A lot of children a well since it’s next to a Primrose Bakery (so cupcake is doable after the shopping).
Yuka (the Japanese employee) makes sashimi platters for the customers every Thursday (Marylebone shop) and Saturday (Primrose Hill shop). If you only speak Japanese she is more than happy to come up from the basement space to cater to you. Also she makes nice Japanese bites for you to take home as well in the fridge. We call it 珍味 chimi, which translates to weird eats or delicacy. If that isn’t your thing then there are a few selections of Japanese items like rice crackers and wasabi as well as some French items like wine and Bordier yogurt/butter!
Don’t worry everyone there speaks English so if you don’t speak French/Japanese there’s always that to fall back on ・:*:・:(ﾉ’∀`*):・:*:・After all we are in London!
I also went to the Marlebone shop which is close to Hyde Park. That one was a bit bigger with an eat in space. For those who are in the area for a quick bite, it does give you the perfect opportunity to sample some of their heart warming bisque along with some Japanese 丼 don, or rice bowl. Think they have some oysters as well so if you want to that’s also an option. There was a nice elderly gentleman eating a bisque last time I was there to pick up my sashimi.
Ah oops….slightly out of focus…but you get the idea! There’s a small sign that lets you know the specials for the day.
The sashimi platter is omakase meaning it’s up to Yuka to pick the fish going in…but honestly like in my post before I rather have a professional do the work for me so I get the freshest cut. It doesn’t disappoint either!
Honestly if you think this is pricey…well I don’t know what to tell you since it’s super reasonable in my opinion for London or overseas. Unless you were in Japan or California or something quality like this and the price is hard to beat. The plastic platter is kind of sketchy…but I assure you the fish is top notch. If I was going to eat some sashimi at a “Japanese” place in London, I would rather cut my losses and have Yuka make me this instead. At least I know what kind of quality I will be getting.
Also great news for cooks! If you ask nicely she does give you off pieces (like fish bones and fish heads) with your purchase since no one here buys it. It’s seriously a shame because the meat on the salmon head is delicious! Best piece in my opinion…plus the bones can be used for soup which is a great accompaniment with the sashimi.
If you want some great quality sashimi here in London look no further…Just go with La Petite Poissonnerie. It’s worth it!
- Address : 19 New Quebec Street, London W1H 7RY (Marylebone/Marble Arch Shop)
- Tel : 02077231960
- Store Hours : Tues – Sat 9:30-19:30 (Closed : Sunday and Monday )
- Address : 75 A Gloucester Avenue, London NW1 8LD (Primrose Hill Shop)
- Tel : 02074834435
- Store Hours : Mon – Sat 9:30-19:30(Closed : Sunday)
- Japanese Staff : Yuka
- Email : email@example.com
- Tel : 075-8839-3995
- Japanese Blog : ・・・・プリムローズヒルの魚屋です☆お魚情報書いてます。
- Instagram : プリヒル姉さん
- She usually has some specialties and information on her Instagram and Blog…but unfortunately at this time all in Japanese. However feel free to take a look and perhaps I may be able to help!
P.S. She is still taking orders for 24th! They will have Uni instead of Ikura so get your orders in before it’s too late.
P.P.S. Make sure to call the shop you intend on picking it up at. Yuka will only be doing it for the Primrose Hill Shop. The other staff will be doing it for the Marylebone Shop.