Nanashi has been doing their strictly pescatarian thing on Shoreditch’s famous Rivington Street since March 2017. In the 80’s the street was famous for all the wrong reasons, you could get as high as a kite from the best narcotics London could offer, hence the notorious moniker “drug supermarket”. Now it’s famous for restaurants like Blacklock, Popolo, Bottega Prelibato, and of course Nenanshi – let’s not forget the fried chicken at Butchies for that matter either. They don’t do meat or dairy for environmental reasons and only use biodegradable takeaway packaging with a no waste policy on sustainable produce. It gets my vote. But what we care about is how good the food is too. I came to find out.
Inside is full of clean lines, sunlight and minimalism.
The gyoza £5.50 had a pleasing crispness, the grease free pastry layers cracked beneath our teeth. The sugars of the vegetables tasted of depth and quality. There was a dip of soy, vinegar and sesame of sorts too.
Edamame came with pungent chilli £3.50.
Spicy tuna maki £9.95 was a reverse roll of ruby flesh with the crunch of panko rolled onto the sticky rice and a dollop of ripe mayo punched up with chilli. We found ourselves eating them quickly, not because we were in a rush, but because they were delicious.
Soft shell crab maki £9.95 is always my go to – its a measure of how good a sushi restaurant is. Thankfully these are rolls of heaven – more of that spicy mayo features as does the pop of flying fish roe.
Then came the shrimp tempura maki £10 with the shell on tail protruding out and expertly sliced slithers of paper thin avocado – the green broken by black and white sesame seeds. Everything tasted sweet and fresh as it should.
Tuna tataki £13 were skilfully cut pieces of fish topped with a fine dice of tomatoes, spring onions and more sesame. Everything was neatly placed on a pool of sharp truffle ponzu on narrow rustic slate grey plate.
Eel £9 is my other favourite and this version is stage perfect. This nigiri version is melting and is topped with a tiny spoon of tangy pineapple salsa.
When did I go? July 2018
The damage: Expect to pay £30-35 per head with no booze.
The good: What we got was memorable and impressive cookery of sushi and deft preparation sashimi – the sort that turns around and gives you sage nod to after walking out the door and tell your friend about for good feed. My favourite things to eat are soft-shell crab, eel and tuna – they do clever things with them here.
The bad: Nenanshi is now permanently closed, if the owners are reading this, then open up again!
Would I go again? My time will come!
Address: 14 Rivington St, Hackney, London EC2A 3DU