A popular sushi restaurant that also provides takeaway, Sushi Gen is quaint little place in West Hampstead.
Sushi Gen is in an ideal location on West End Lane, within close range of West Hampstead tube station on the Jubilee Line. Sushi Gen is surrounded by many local places that have sprung up over time and has fierce competition from newer recent venues that have opened up. The decor is not particularly awe inspiring but has the more traditional feel of an izakaya, a traditional Japanese pub with simple dining furniture and some traditional art hanging from the walls. The open kitchen at the back ensures you’re in constant anticipation as you await what arrives at the table.
This restaurant has its fair share of locals who either pop in for a bite to eat after a day in the office or literally just pop in to order some delights off the takeaway menu. The fast pace of dishes coming out of the kitchen is matched by the rapidness of the turnover of diners which guarantees a decent lively ambiance.
The menu is synonymous with most sushi outlets comprising of tempura, temaki, nigiri, sashimi and noodle dishes. The edamame, fresh green soy beans, are steaming and spanking fresh with just enough sprinklings of sea salt to provide the right amount of seasoning. The vegetable tempuras are crisp and not too heavy. These are an array of vegetables dipped in a light and crispy batter and served with a sweet chilli sauce. The sauce is the perfect accompaniment to this dish and the chilli gives enough kick to get your palatte dancing before chomping on some fresh pickled ginger to cleanse your palate.
The tuna and salmon rolls are beautifully presented in a seaweed wrap and crammed full of fresh crunchy vegetables and mayonnaise. Another to watch out for is the tuna and avocado rolls with soft fleshy avocado. The tuna is glossy and is screaming out to be eaten. If you want to spice things up then try the spiced tuna or salmon rolls which pack a punch.
The sashimi is soft and simply melts away in the mouth under some well done sticky rice. It’s best to go for a mixture of both tuna and salmon - at under £7 for around eight pieces this is not a bad deal. The mackerel sashimi is a little different and has a slight earthy undertone which is a good alternative from the usual suspects. The seafood selection is extensive with a special mention to the crunchy and meaty prawn tempuras and sides featuring pickled cabbage and the miso soup with wakame or kelp with tofu.
Notable drinks here include green tea, always a big hit. There’s a decent choice of herbal teas as well as some standard wines and beers to suit anyone but this is certainly not the main focus of this restaurant.
The Last Word
One of only few sushi venues in leafy West Hampstead, Sushi Gen has been long established and this traditional sushi canteen venue continues to provide good dishes at prices that won’t break the bank.