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Sushiya
Sushiya
Authentic Japanese Food, Sushi and Noodle Bar,
Edinburgh,
EH11 2BQ
[View Map]
0131 313 3222
Sun-Thurs noon-2.30pm& 5pm-10.30pm, Fri & Sat 'til 11pm

2007

JAPANESE FOOD HAS NEVER WORKED IN EDINBURGH. WHICH IS TO SAY WE HAVE NEVER WORKED AT JAPANESE FOOD. A WONDERFUL RESTAURANT AT 80 QUEEN STREET, ANOTHER IN THOSE ANONYMOUS GLASS BOOTHS ACROSS FROM THE SCOTTISH EXEC AND YO! SUSHI - OKAY, BAD EXAMPLE - ALL HAVE COME AND GONE.

So to Sushiya situated in that former culinary wasteland and current foodie haven, Dalry Road. Here we have a Japanese restaurant that is about to buck that unfortunate trend. On a sodden, bitter, Wednesday evening (it is after all mid-June) the place is as packed as a carton of popcorn and there are lots of disappointed little popcorns being turned away.

The décor is as it should be for this type of food; utilitarian. All clean lines and freshness. Nothing gets in the way of the food. Service is utterly charming and warmly efficient. The people who work here, work here, they are not 'between jobs'. Rather daringly the wine list consists of Asahi and Sapporo lagers (£2.50), a light, lemony, Verdejo (£3.55) and two Sakes, that's it. It works.

We started with a crabstick, cucumber and fish roe salad (£3.50) that sounded, ahem, intriguing. It was bursting with zingy freshness although, something I never thought I'd hear myself say, I'd have liked more crabsticks. A skewer of ox tongue (£3.50) was that meat seared from it's raw state and rather than the blandness normally associated with tongue, this meat stood up for itself and refused to be bullied by the yakimono sauce. I want my tongue cooked this way always, well not my tongue. "Although".... says my girlfriend, wistfully.

To follow, traditional style soup based ramen noodle (£7.25), which came in a bowl big enough to bathe a toddler in. A light amalgam of pork, egg, seaweed and bean sprout elevated by a fine, yeasty, double-brewed soy. Japanese barbecue eel (£9.50) was even better. Melt in the mouth smoked eel in a lip sticking unagi sauce, add the sourness of pickled radish and sinus clearing wasabi and you have as fine a dish as I've eaten since the world was young. If Sushiya isn't Japanese for little gem, it jolly well should be.

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