Japanese restaurant Hot Stone on Angel’s Chapel Market is a lovely little neighbourhood joint, with great sushi and the eponymous hot stones for a bit of DIY cookery. Normally closed on Mondays, it’s now open for a special omakase experience of 14 courses chosen by Executive Chef Padam Raj Rai. It’s served at the counter, with three sittings night and just four seats for each (to allow for social distancing) so it’s a real intimate dinner.
It’s a 90-minute experience and all the dishes are prepared right in front of you, meaning you get to watch Chef Padam in action. As well as being a bit of a whizz with a knife, he’s very entertaining, cracking jokes and rattling off where all the ingredients come from and the way he’s prepared the dishes at quite the pace.
The first burst of dishes include squid with okra & nori, hand dived scallop with truffle ponzu sauce, seared butterfish with hamachi & green jalapeno sauce, and a mix of fatty and lean tuna sashimi. The fish is insanely fresh and everything is served on beautiful Japanese ceramics so it’s all super pretty too. There’s a brief meaty interlude as a piece of A5 wagyu beef gets cooked on the hot stone; as you’d expect from a such a premium cut of meat, it melts in your mouth.
That’s followed by a selection of sushi, including seabass, salmon, fatty tuna and unagi nigiri, and a tuna & salmon handroll, all prepared expertly right then and there, and Chef Padam makes it look ridiculously easy. The fourteenth and final course is small square of matcha cheesecake with passion fruit, and it rounds off the whole thing perfectly.
Turning out 14 plates without a dud amongst them is no easy feat but it’s exactly what Hot Stone have done with this omakase menu, so it’s one not to miss if you’re big into Japanese food.
9 Chapel Market, The Angel, London, N1 9EZ