Seasonal Japanese at Feng Sushi

Feng Sushi is one of those chains I’ve known of for years but had never visited until a July invitation to sample their new seasonal specials in the company of co-founder Silla Bjerrum. My loss, as the food they serve is excellent, and I’ve been missing out all these years!

FengSushi Collage

Founded back in 1999 by Silla and a co-founder, Feng Sushi has always had a very strong focus on seasonality and sustainability. Silla takes the latter more seriously than most, constantly visiting and learning from experts in the field to ensure that the ingredients she uses are genuinely sustainable.

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One of the dishes we try is Cornish Sardines Unagi Style Donburi – sardines presented the way that unagi (eel) usually is. Why? Because eels are still endangered. Silla tells us about recent initiatives to farm eels sustainably, and how they’ve made a positive impact but adds that as there have been no conclusive studies confirming this yet, she will not introduce them to the menu until she is absolutely sure.

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As well as the genuine commitment to sustainability (line caught mackerel, hand dived scallops, Cornish sardines (certified by the Marine Stewardship Council) throughout the menu, Silla is also interested in a modern and European-influenced interpretation of traditional Japanese cuisine. Some of this may come from her Danish upbringing, where good quality locally sourced seafood has long been highly prized. But there is also an interest in fusing other European and global elements and ingredients to make something that is very much in the Japanese tradition, but a little different. A good example is the Summer Salad of okra, mange tout, cherry tomatoes and cous cous in a light but creamy sesame dressing.

The seasonal menu is changed 6 times a year, not just four. Makes sense to me as few seasonal ingredients are actually at their peak for 3 whole months.

One of my favourite dishes from the special menu is the Cold Summer Tofu with fresh ginger, spring onions and bonito flakes. Instead of silken tofu, Silla has chosen to use a firmer fresh organic tofu. It’s fabulous. And, to my surprise and delight, we learn that it’s made right here in London using traditional methods.

What else do we have?

Edamame beans are served two ways, with a hot chilli sauce and with a white miso one that is particularly addictive.

Lotus Root Crisps are another nice nibble to start with.

Salmon Tartar Bites are served in little gem lettuce leaves.

Chilled Ramen Noodles come with sweet tamago omelette, cherry tomatoes, wakame (seaweed) and tempura prawns.

And because Silla went to Billingsgate this morning (Feng Sushi have a delivery and takeaway only restaurant there and Silla also runs specialist Sushi classes for the Billingsgate Seafood School), we are treated to some top grade Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi that is out of this world.

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Already full, we somehow make room for the scoop of Silla’s black sesame and maple ice cream. Superbly rich in sesame flavour, I could eat this every day. With it, we’re served a glass of sweet sharp plum wine.

It’s a light meal of lots of small bites and I leave feeling satisfied rather than uncomfortably full.

When it comes to the kind of simple dishes served here, quality of ingredients is paramount, and it’s clear that this is at the heart of the Feng Sushi business. I look forward to visiting again for the next set of seasonal dishes.


Kavey Eats dined as a guest of Feng Sushi.

Feng Sushi (West Hampstead) on Urbanspoon

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3 Comments to "Seasonal Japanese at Feng Sushi"

  1. Kavey

    Hope you like it. For me, the way Silla brings in European / local influences into ingredients and menu works very well. The food is still what one would consider Japanese, but not constrained by trying to create sterile copies of exact dishes. Works for me!

  2. Gill Bland

    Sounds lovely. I like Unagi, but knowing that there’s a sustainably alternative is great. Being dim, are they all endangered or are there some sources that are ok?
    Where in London do they make the tofu?
    Also, I’m not sure about the okra…just can’t make myself like it!


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