Respond to Review of Itadaki-Zen
Review: Headed to I-Z for dinner on a Saturday night with my partner. We arrived at 5.30 as soon as they opened, which was fortuitous, because all the tables except for two were already reserved: a pretty good sign! We both ordered the Itadaki set meal, which consisted of an appetizer, a sushi course, main course (spring rolls or tempura) and a dessert. The starter was really unusual -- quite small, amuse-bouche almost, but really good. Quite unusual, unexpected stuff but all cooked PERFECTLY and really good. When the sushi arrived, we both thought it LOOKED a bit disappointing -- we'd noticed on the menu that they don't serve dishes with soy/wasabi and actively discourage diners from asking for them. I was miffed... but then I actually TASTED the sushi. It was amazing. Cooked beautifully, and flavoured in such a skilfull way that extra soy/wasabi was totally unnecessary. Although the primary ingredients of each sushi piece seemed to be fairly similar (lots of types of seaweed), each one had its own unique and delicious flavour. I found myself feeling really 'present' as I ate, savouring each small piece and taking care not to rush. Amazing to find myself eating like that just because of the sheer quality of the food! Clearly lots of thought went into it! We were both properly blown away by this sushi. Best I've ever had, by far. For the main, my bloke had the tempura and I had the spring rolls, and we split each other's so we could try everything. The spring rolls were, yaknow, veggie spring rolls... but well cooked. The tempura was a cut above, really great. This course DID come with extra soy, noodles on the side, and really great fresh veg. Again, all lovely. For dessert my partner had the sesame pudding, which I thought looked a bit wet but was actually really good. I had the small cranberry cake, which was light, fluffy and a good end to the meal. In short, this place is EXCELLENT. I have no complaints. I would like to answer some of the other reviews though, in case they're putting folk off. The place is NOT hard to find (er, WHAT?) if you know how maps work, and to slag off a place because of the ethnicity of the owner is frankly racist. The chefs are clearly extremely capable, thoughtful, careful and produce excellent, authentic-tasting Japanese food which is also original, unusual and 100% vegan. Who cares where they're from?! The staff we encountered were also lovely and don't deserve such unfair criticism. WE LOVED IT!