Brixton Village is a go-to haunt for hungry South Londoners so we weren’t surprised to hear that it’s also Temaki’s choice of location for London’s first authentic hand roll bar. The place is overseen by restaurateur A.M Dupee and chef Shaulan Steenson, who has gained experience at some of Japan’s most coveted sushi joints as well as at London’s best Japanese restaurants (including Michelin-starred Umu), and you can see all the rolling action as all the restaurant’s seats are around the central counter.
Temaki is an exercise in simplicity; from the minimalist interiors to the concise menu to the bottled cocktails made specially by Fire Water Workshop there’s nothing extra that doesn’t need to be there. It’s a handroll bar so naturally these are the main attraction but you definitely don’t want to skip the small plates – the monkfish karaage with its roe-flecked spicy mayo dip is an absolute must, and the grilled peas (essentially an English edamame) are worth a go too if they have them on as specials.
The rolls are available individually or in sets and are rolled to order before being handed over the counter. If you order a set – we think this is the best and easiest way – they all start with the akami tuna in honour of the first roll Shaulan had when working in Japan. With perfect rice, fresh fish and just the right amount of garnish, wrapped and rolled effortlessly, it sets the bar for the rest of the meal. All the rolls are excellent but for us the unagi (BBQ eel), otoro tuna with spring onion and crab with egg yolk & white soy are the faves from a very strong bunch – order set 6 and you’ll see for yourself.
The quality of sushi at Temaki is right up there with the best Japanese restaurants in the city, with the added bonus of not costing a bomb. The informal and friendly atmosphere make it great for solo dining – Brixton peeps are very lucky to have this as a local.
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Unit 12 Market Row, Brixton, London, SW9 8LD