Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

On our last day in London, we decided to return to The Wolseley for another fantastic breakfast. After a hearty breakfast, we window-shopped at Fortnum & Mason and Waterstones down the road as we had already packed our luggage and were ready to go. We then returned to the hotel around noon to make sure everything was ready before checking out. Since we still had a few hours before we had to be at Victoria station for the Gatwick Express train to the airport, we decided to eat somewhere within walking distance to the hotel.

Matsuri is a well-known Japanese restaurant which I had been to ages ago in St. James. Now, there is a more modern branch on High Holborn right across the street from the hotel and so we went there for lunch. Luckily for us, there was a special summer promotion of half-price all lunch menu items every Saturday for the whole month of July and August.

The restaurant is bright and modern and has four separate areas – a bar area, the sushi counter, the main dining room and teppanyaki tables in the basement. We had booked a table for 1:00 p.m. and were surprised upon arriving at how full the restaurant was for a Saturday lunch. As soon as we were seated, we were given menus and offered a drink. As we were going to go on a flight shortly, we just ordered a large bottle of still water to accompany our meal.

The menu is quite large and is also divided in several sections – sushi, a la carte, set menus or Bento boxes and teppanyaki items. We stuck to the Bento box set lunch and sushi/sashimi section. J was all set and knew exactly what he was going to have – a large portion of sake sashimi (slices of raw salmon) and some kappamaki (cucumber sushi rolls). A and I both had the Bento box lunch. He had the assorted sashimi to start and the tofu teriyaki as his main course. As usual, I couldn’t have any raw food so I chose assorted tempura (prawns and vegetables) and the rib-eye teriyaki. Both Bento box lunches came with miso soup, a bowl of steamed rice and some traditional Japanese pickles. We also ordered a spicy California roll (sushi of crab meat and avocado with flying fish roe) on the side.

The food came quickly and was of excellent quality – fresh fish, extra crispy tempura and properly grilled teriyaki. J finished his sushi and sashimi quickly while A and I took our time with our Bento boxes. I finished off my meal with s refreshing scoop of green tea ice cream and then we walked back to the hotel and got in a cab to take us to the station.

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