History and Background:
Meal courtesy of Oliver Maki
Quirky. Contemporary. Flashy.
Oliver Maki, a family owned restaurant run by the successful Zeitoun brothers with four existing restaurants in the Middle East. Their first London venture starts with Oliver Maki, fusion sushi with a luxurious twist.
Another fine-dine sushi restaurant in London? Yes, probably. But I’d say this one is a little more out there. All dishes are delicately presented, pleasant to the eye and definitely very exquisite. Formerly at Nobu, Louise Kenji Huang runs its kitchen, combining eccentricity and luxurious ingredients together to create theatrical display of dishes. Out-of-the-box ideas and innovative dishes flood the menu.
Price range here is high for the average sushi joint and Londoners with generous wallets hit this spot like its local. Worth giving it a try and definitely great for a fancy date looking to impress.
First off, it’s good to note that the soy sauce used here is blended with high quality olive oil. A healthier and less saltier alternative.
With short intakes of breaths and gasps of excitement, this is probably how most diners would respond to the multi layered acrylic box of delights. Compartments of crispy salad, 3 pieces of chef’s special maki, 3 pieces of issai maki, chicken teriyaki, salmon teriyaki, seafood ceviche, 3 pieces of chef’s special nigiri and is exactly what we got!
The crispy salad was just as it was described, a healthy layer of seasoning with a cheeky topping of Japanese mayonnaise. The salmon teriyaki and the chicken teriyaki were also cooked well and sat atop of their Oliver brown rice to complete the set. My favourite in particular was the crunchy maki which seemed like it was wrapped in some sort of fish skin over tempura on the inside. I’m not a fan of ceviche anywhere, most commonly a fusion Japanese-peruvian dish, nikkei cuisine. The 3 piece nigiri was good but nothing impressive, brown rice is deemed as healthier and not as filling but the way it is cooked in nature means it tends to not be as together and can be quite crumbly.
Unfortunately this did not impress, at £15 for a maki roll it’s on the higher price range for rainbow rolls in other places and special rolls too. The flavour is quite tame albeit looking like it’s over seasoned. Too many things going on – on the plate. Don’t get me wrong, the sushi is good. The theatrical and impressive visual presentation allows you to make overestimated assumptions about it however. Everything from olive oil to truffle is incorporated within this roll, so best listen to the waiter’s explanation carefully!
So desserts were of a similar caliber. Stunning visuals and very eye-catching. The Zeitoun brothers and Kenji-Huang partnership certainly were a very well paired one. Artistic styling for the desserts and at very high quality too. Tiramisu was on point, no coffee flavoured ones here, it’s all about the green tea. The aroma was subtle but it’s there. Could definitely add in more of the bitter sweet ratio to it for improvement.
I have to say the Yuzu Creme Brulee was also one of my favourites. Absolutely loved the texture. Subtle yuzu texture again but this time I preferred it subtle. Yuzu can be a very strong flavour which may not necessarily combine well with creme brulee which is often associated with caramel. The combination here was captivating, followed by a lot of onomatopoeic squeals of delight…
Service: Waiters are knowledgeable about the sourcing of their ingredients and food is served quickly, some could say it could be rather hasty. Potentially overstaffed given the size of the restaurant but wasn’t in the restaurant long enough to assess.
Bits and bobs:
- They have a special tasting menu for certain guests who are a member or a certain special society…