October 29, 2012

London's hidden gem - DININGS

The best thing about being in London is finding really amazing secret restaurants. A few days ago we visited DININGS, a contemporary sushi and Japanese tapas restaurant owned and run by an ex-Nobu chef Masaki Sugisaki. Before my friend booked lunch at Dinings, she told me that it was the best Japanese food she had ever eaten in her life. She was so right! NOTHING has ever compared to this... 

The cab almost missed the restaurant at Harcourt Street when we first arrived. DININGS is housed in a two story white building with a discreet grey sign that blends in with the rest of the street. It is as if the owners WANT you to miss this restaurant and keep it a hidden secret! The inside decor is equally as discreet- the first floor is one long sushi bar, and then there is a staircase leading you to a tiny dining room in the basement. The ceilings are low and there are only 5 or 6 tables in the whole restaurant.

The front cover of the menu is plain white with no logo and is filled with so many names of dishes that it is very difficult to choose. There are three wooden blackboards showcasing the specialities of the day in the centre and that's it. Plain and simple. If the menu and boards weren't filled with names of dishes that included truffles, lobster and other decadent items, I would have definitely thought that we were in the wrong place!
Then the food started to arrive. Rectangular white dishes filled with the freshest, yummiest, most amazing Japanese food I have ever tasted. White fish carpaccio covered in decadent truffles, home made tiny taco shells filled with lobster, cornish crab and wagyu beef, tuna sashimi topped with foiegras mousse, seared wagyu beef maki rolls with foiegras. The list goes on and on... The maki rolls were so soft they practically melted in my mouth. 

Each dish is tapas style so contains bite sized food that leaves you craving more. Each time a dish finished, we would order another one of the same. The food was simply MOUTHWATERING.  Why doesn't anything in the U.A.E taste as good as this?

(Source for left picture: www.willtravelforfood.com)

By the end of the meal, I could completely understand why the decor is so understated. DININGS is not a restaurant that you go to for the ambiance, nor is it a place you visit to see and be seen. Rather, the food speaks entirely for itself. It is so incredible that you find yourself lost in a world where your taste buds take over and all your other senses wait for each arriving dish with anticipation. When food tastes this good, who cares what the decor looks like?! 

Next time you are in London, I highly recommend you to leave space in your schedule for DININGS - it is one of those restaurants that you eat at once and will get hooked. I'm BEYOND OBSESSED! :)

What do you think - do you prefer restaurants with nicer interiors and ambiance or better food? 

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