Date of Last Visit: Saturday, November 10, 2007
The Victim: Me, myself, and I
The Damage: £10ish.
The Background: I will admit to being a regular at Yo Sushi in Selfridges. It’s just so damned convenient and fast. And you can normally depend on it to be really fresh given the high volumes. But I’m tired of Yo. I want something else. I vaguely remember Richard telling me that there are a bunch of Japanese restaurants by him, and he’s somewhat off of Oxford St, so I spend an hour or two wandering up and down streets, no Japanese restaurants to be found.
And then I remembered that Oonth on Chowhound had recommended Atariya a couple of times, so I Googled it and there I was.
Now Atariya is NOT a destination. It’s more like a sushi-deli. It gets a -2 on the atmosphere scale. You stand at the sushi bar, and maybe if you’re lucky (like I was), there’s a seat at one of the two-tops. I placed my order at the register–the server was so sweet and friendly–and then I took my seat.
Given the scarcity of tables, a Japanese guy quickly took the other seat at the table. What I found interesting was that my table was vacated by a Japanese-American, and then I sat with a Japanese-Japanese guy. So I’m already feeling that I’m in the right place.
The Food: I ordered a mixed sashimi plate and a spicy tuna roll. Both were perfect. Lovely. Fresh. Delicious. I wanted to take a picture but given that I was sitting with a stranger, it was hard. But it got me thinking…if their sushi is SO good, why don’t they use their real estate a bit more wisely. Some examples:
The should rehang their door so it opens out, not in. This way, they can try to squeeze some seats in at the sushi bar.
They should move the deli fridge full of drinks and put two more tables in. Or maybe–and this I think is the best idea–a long picnic bench type of communal table. That would be great. They could fit six to 10 at that. I’ve got to think they’ll make more money out of people sitting down and eating than they do off of people taking a drink from the cooler?
They should ditch the harsh lighting and bring the lighting down a notch. See, I’m liking Polo more and more every day.
Anyhow, I loved my food, but I missed the camraderie of Yo and the Selfridges foodhall. That being said, I feel like I’m in on a little secret, so I will be back to Atariya soon, I’m sure.
The Verdict: Yes.