Just around the corner from Covent Garden and its stretch of cheerful chains, newcomer Murakami aims for something a little more upmarket. Scrolling through their Instagram, every plate is a thing of beauty, from robata-grilled dishes and carefully crafted sashimi, to signature rolls which are flame seared to give a delicious crispy texture. Eager to find out if the food tastes as good as it looks, I booked a table at London’s hottest new Japanese joint...
Located opposite Pizza Express and one of the many steakhouses in the area, Murakami is a welcome addition to Covent Garden’s restaurant scene. And it certainly stands out from the crowd: sexy mood lighting, contemporary grey tones and natural wood furniture, and a long stylish bar for single diners.
We took a seat at the back of the restaurant and began watching the theatrics of the restaurant’s open kitchen. Within seconds we were greeted by a young friendly waiter, who took us through the menu and quenched our thirst with ice cold water. He recommended the flame seared roll with tempura prawn to start, which is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.
Service was quick and five or so minutes later we were presented with an elegant (and generous) platter of sushi rolls, decorated with a drizzle of creamy aioli and vibrant tobiko. The flavours were remarkable, the seared texture added a smoky element and the avocado and crispy tempura a beautiful match. In fact, I’d go so far as saying that it’s the best sushi I’ve eaten all year.
Next came our mains: salmon teriyaki and rib eye, with a seaweed salad on the side. The salmon had a lovely pan-fried texture and the steak was succulent and accompanied by a thick and sticky sweet soy sauce - both excellent. We washed our food down with a glass of Mamaku Sauvignon Blanc - but if you’re a cocktail enthusiast, the fresh but wintery Nashi Pear and Rosemary cooler came highly rated.
We finished our feast with a spiced rum cake, bursting with flavour and topped with a sticky sweet rum glaze. This is casual dining at its best: faultless food, excellent service and a creative drinks list. Murakami - I can’t wait to eat my way through your menu!
Enjoy 25% off the a la carte menu with a Portico Places card. Excludes Bento Boxes, Set Menus, Waggu Dishes, California & Crab Roll, Soft Shell Crab Roll, Ribeye and Black Cod.
Valid for 1-8 people. Cannot be used with any other offer.