It has been a long wait to find an opportunity to visit Atari-Ya in Swiss Cottage. This small Japanese restaurant specialise in sushi and is definitely a recommendation that has my tick. It also seem to be a popular place for Japanese local to be eating here, so it seem to hint that Atari-Ya is good as if you were in Japan.
The menu mainly consist of various types of sushi, ranging from sashimi to nigiri. There are also the chirashi (sushi don) where you have a bowl of rice covered on top with sushi.
We ordered a few sushi to try including the tradition salmon maki and egg omelette. The egg omelette was beautiful, actually I felt like it was the best I have had so far in London.
Of all sushi my favourite has to be toro (fatty tuna), so seeing it on the menu I had to order to try if it was any good in comparison to Nobu. As I could not make my choice I ordered one piece of medium fatty tuna and one piece of the fattest tuna which is slight more expensive.
The medium fatty tuna I felt is better although it is cheaper over the fattest tuna. Both was pieces of beautiful fresh fatty tuna that melted in your mouth. The quality was definitely just as good as Nobu.
At Atari-Ya you will not find any bento boxes or cooked dons, but if you do prefer more than just sushi, you can order noodles or ochazake (boiled rice with tea poured over a choice of topping).
I tried one of their tempura udon which was average in terms of the texture of the udon. The texture was definitely not as good as udon specialise Koya, but then Atari-Ya is really about sushi. However, the tempura prawn is better than many other places in London.
One noodle that I do recommend is their cold soba, which is usually brownish in colour was instead a beautiful green colour. This is a good choice to have in the warm summer weather.
A friend had this beautiful grilled aubergine. It is the first time I have seen it served this way, and when it first arrived at the table I felt that it was an artwork.
We even got a small free appetizer while waiting for our food. It was soft but still had a slight crunch and was slightly sweet.
It is a small restaurant, so if you do decide to visit Atari-Ya then I would advise that you make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
We visited the branch in Swiss Cottage but Atrai-Ya do have various branches which can all be found on their website.
Atari-Ya (Swiss Cottage branch)
75 Fairfax Road,