Sushi sales apparently contribute almost £40 million to the UK economy every year. I’d wager that Tiff and I have contributed a fair whack to that over the last few years.
More and more, we’re opting for sushi when we eat out or get a takeaway, especially when you consider the state (not to mention the fat levels) of some of the food that’s available from takeaways around here. (Big-name pizza takeaways, I’m looking squarely at you.) I reckon I’d eat sushi all the time if it was easier to make and not so bloomin’ expensive.
We usually go to Old Town Kitchen in East Street for our takeaway sushi. (They do amazing chicken satay and malaysian curry here too.) Unfortunately, it was closed in the evening on bank holiday Sunday. So, after a quick browse of the menu, we decided to give the Japanese restaurant Zen on the High Street a go.
We were tempted to eat in initially. However, I looked a right state because we were on our way back from taking Tilly for a walk in the countryside. The restaurant itself, which is modern looking, looked nice enough and the staff were friendly and helpful when we requested a takeaway menu.
Despite being experienced sushi eaters, we still struggle to work out individual dishes are, even with descriptions. We saved time by ordering the 36-piece “Platter B” sushi combination. With a 20 percent takeaway discount, it came to just under £30.
Our order consisted of the following:
- Two each of salmon nigiri, tuna nigiri, prawn nigiri and octopus nigiri.
- Four californian uramaki.
- Four futo maki.
- Six cucumber hosomaki.
- Six salmon sashimi.
- Four each of tuna sashimi and seabass sashimi.
That said, tonight they’d run out of salmon for the sashimi – we had extra tuna instead.
While we waited for the chef to prepare our food, we had a wander round the streets of the “Old Town” nearby. The council have certainly cleaned the area up. There are lots of new apartments overlooking the street – tastefully designed for a change – and plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes that weren’t here last time we were here. There’s was a nice buzz about the place, ruined only by the sound of an unhappy wife/girlfriend picking up her slightly inebriated partner. She’d “been driving round for hours” looking for him, apparently.
The sushi didn’t disappoint. The tasted fresh and the rice was perfect. There was a generous helping of wasabi and pickled ginger too. Lovely stuff.
We’ll definitely be returning to Zen for more in the future. Who knows, we might even book out one of the restaurant’s karaoke booths… watch out.
Info: Zen is at 42 High Street, Below Bar, Southampton, SO14 2NS. Telephone 023 8023 3399.