Yashin Ocean House is a new modern Japanese restaurant, opened just down the road from Gloucester Road station. Having had a quick glance at the menu of sushi and sashimi before my trip, the mention of Yashin’s unique ‘Head to Tail’ offering didn’t give much cause for questioning. Makes sense, I thought; must just be talking about all the fish on the menu… Meeting my friend en route, we entered Yashin Ocean House to a warm welcome from the friendly staff and started off with a glass (or three) of sake.
First up, we ordered the Omakase Eight (eight pieces of sushi served with the roll of the day) and Omakase Sashimi. Great for sharing, the platters came served on a (somewhat bizarre) glass plate with a well in the middle filled with dry ice, which billowed theatrically across our table. Approach with caution if you’re not too nifty with your chopsticks; we ended up losing a couple of pieces of sushi down the well and, not knowing the side effects of using dry ice as a dipping sauce, we left them in there. Dry ice aside, the sushi and sashimi were fresh and bursting with interesting flavour combinations, matching deliciously with the sake recommended to us by our lovely waiter.
Next, on a recommendation from the same lovely waiter, we ordered the Head to TAI-l; grilled whole dry aged sea bream served with head and bones. ‘Great choice’, said our waiter, ‘let’s see if you can eat the whole thing!’ Exchanging confused looks across the table, my friend and I carried on sipping our sake, until the whole sea bream arrived. The waiter explained that the fish had been specially prepared, meaning the whole fish, bones, head and eyes, were all edible. Challenge accepted. We chomped our way through the lot and, to our surprise, the head and bone were delicious; crispy, salty and ‘kind of like pork scratchings’ observed my friend. The fish itself was flakey, succulent and flavoursome. I even braved eating the eye (spurred on by the sake) which, despite feeling like I was taking part in an ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ style challenge, wasn’t half as bad as I was expecting.
Yashin Ocean House is a fun experience, perfect for a date, with every dish creating a talking point. It feels a little out of the way, but if you’re looking to try something new, it’s well worth the journey.
117 – 119 Old Brompton Rd
For bookings contact: 0207 373 3990 or firstname.lastname@example.org