14 Jul 2020
With many of us craving not only restaurant food but the theatre of dining out, it’s time to be discerning as we venture back to the capital’s myriad eateries. At Japanese restaurant, Hot Stone, in Islington’s Chapel Market, tables are already in high demand.
Executive Chef Padam Raj Rai has 19 years of experience, having previously worked at Tsukiji within Mayfair’s Westbury Hotel, Nobu and Zuma, and Hot Stone easily rivals these with its selection of razor-sharp maki rolls, new-style sushi and sashimi and hot dishes, including a beautifully flaky, 48-hours marinated black cod and a moreish grilled aubergine in saikyo miso. Add to this an interactive dining experience, courtesy of the restaurant’s signature Ishiyaki menu – the ancient Japanese art of cooking on a searing-hot stones – and dining in this North London gem is a genuine delight.
The minimalist space – complete with traditional Japanese panelling and statement ornamental cherry blossom ceilings – has been reconfigured to reduce covers and ensure safe social distancing throughout.
FROM STONE TO SUSHI
The menu is rich with fresh and beautiful produce, including the rare and sought-after certified Kobe beef – in fact, Hot Stone is only one of seven restaurants in the UK to have it on its menu.
As the name suggests, no visit to the restaurant would be complete without trying the Ishiyaki dining. Guests are invited to grill from their tables, which are each custom designed to house a 400°C heated hot stone. Alongside a selection of meats including Japanese Kobe and Wagyu beef, the Ishiyaki menu also features black tiger king prawns.
Unrivalled and award-winning sushi and sashimi is also a must try. Watch Chef Padam and his team in action as they slice sensational sashimi and shell the freshest of sea food with all dishes expertly made to order and exquisitely presented in smart wooden boxes and on beautiful Japanese ceramic bowls and plates.
Highlights include a fatty tuna, horenso gomae (Japanese spinach) and caviar maki roll; scallop carpaccio with with truffle ponzu and plum sauce; and the crunchy Hot Stone roll – king prawn tempura and crab, rolled in crunchy tempura flakes. Hot Stone is one of the very few restaurants to serve authentic, freshly grated Japanese wasabi with its sushi and sashimi – a far more delicate and cleaner taste than the imitation paste widely offered in other sushi restaurants.
To accompany, Hot Stone offers a concise and carefully thought out list of sake by the glass, bottle and tasting flight alongside a concise list of Old World wines. There is also a range of Japanese spirits, including Ryoma seven-year-old rum, Nikka Coffey gin and a number of Suntory whiskies, as well as Sapporo and Kirin beer. Kampai!
…OR AT HOME
For those looking for a stylish sushi supper at home, Hot Stone will continue to offer its menu for delivery across London. The menu is available to order online via Supper and Deliveroo to select London postcodes. Delivery is available every evening Tuesday to Sunday.
If you’re not ready to face the bright lights and bustle of central London, congestion charge and all, then Hot Stone is well worth a look for anyone looking for an intriguing and innovative menu that delivers on high quality Japanese food in an intimate setting. Hot Stone is currently only open for dinner from 6pm until 9.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday.