With a first location in Islington’s Chapel Market, the upmarket Japanese restaurant Hot Stone has just opened a sister location in Fitzrovia. Known for high-quality and impeccably sourced sushi, sashimi and A5 Wagyu and Kobe steak cooked table-side via searing-hot, 400°C stones, Hot Stone is helmed by Executive Chef Padam Raj Rai, who has nearly 20 years of experience in London’s top Japanese restaurants including Nobu, Tsukiji, and Zuma.
Many of the ingredients used at Hot Stone are sourced directly from Japan like the freshly grated wasabi and Sanpuku nori, which is considered to be the finest nori in Japan, harvested from only the young, tender shoots of seaweed from the Ariake sea. Also, Hot Stone is one of only a few select UK restaurants serving certified Kobe beef.
Hot Stone’s ‘at home’ option pulls from the restaurant’s à la carte menu and includes options like the Chirashi box, filled with fresh, fine seafood dressed in truffle, caviar, and 2-year-old soy sauce; and plenty of sushi and sashimi options like the signature seared fatty tuna with red jalapeno; the crunchy Hot Stone roll; and the 24-piece omakase box. There’s also a fine selection of soy sauce (from 2-year-old to 20-year-old) and signature cocktails offered via delivery.
The Experience & The Food
Everyone once in a while, a meal will surprise and delight you by far surpassing all expectations. Despite going into this review with the bar set pretty high (just look at the resume of Owner-Chef Padam Raj Rai), I can say without any trepidation that Hot Stone Fitzrovia will far exceed even the highest of expectations.
Wow, wow, wow, where do I even begin? From the “new style” signature sashimi of incredibly tender butterfish with punchy truffle, onion ponzu salsa to the special fatty tuna maki rolls crowned with caviar and koshihikari (the world’s best sushi rice), every bite will leave you in a state of bliss. All the raw ingredients are impeccable, from the intensely marbled A5 Japanese wagyu (sublime in the melt-in-your-mouth tataki preparation and as plump gyoza, with zesty ponzu on the side) to the simple aubergines (grilled with saikyo miso and sesame, so that it takes on the tender sweetness of a dessert).
The Omakase box comprised of 24 pieces of exquisite sushi chosen by the chef is like a jewellery box brimming with rare treasures: It will be impossible to pick a favourite (though the akami glazed with the rich umami of five-year-old soy sauce was certainly in my top three). Truffle, caviar, and barrel-aged soy sauce features prominently and there are no stingy portions here, and yet despite the generous servings, it’s impossible to get enough—because everything is simply that delicious! Even the cocktails—like the well-balanced cloudy sake old fashion—are nothing short of spectacular. As soon as Hot Stone Fitzrovia opens, there will be people lining up outside the door, and I’ll be the first one in the queue. If I could give this more than five stars, I would.
Hot Stone Fitzrovia (3 Windmill Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2HY; 020 3302 8226) is slated to open for in-restaurant dining on 17 May (in line with current government guidance). Delivery and collection of the at-home menu is currently available. Order online from Hot Stone’s website and also via Supper and UberEATS to select London postcodes Thursday to Sunday, 5pm – 9pm.