HAVING experienced very few good sushi meals in Edinburgh it was with a touch of trepidation that we opened the unassuming grey door in the middle of a largely residential street.
However, Kanpai Sushi has recently received the award for Newcomer of the Year in the Scottish Restaurant Awards 2012 so we had to see for ourselves what the fuss was all about.
With a chic minimalistic interior, the restaurant is divided into two sections providing a warm and bustling atmosphere.
After a minor communication issue, we ended up with slightly more than we thought we had ordered. That aside, the food was magnificent. Pan-fried vegetable and chicken dumplings (£4.25 for four pieces) were delicate and bursting with flavour; seared tuna with homemade miso dressing (£7.60 for six pieces) was the best I have tasted; the half grilled aubergine with sweet miso sauce (£5.90) was a tad overpriced but I would love the recipe for the homemade miso sauce; salmon sashimi (£6.20 for five pieces) was so fresh we could practically taste the salt water; salmon panko maki (£5.50 for six pieces) had a crispy breadcrumb outside which slightly distracted from the salmon, and the dragon rolls (£13.90 for eight pieces) were beautifully presented in the shape of a dragon. The only dish I would not choose again was the surf clam sashimi (£6.20 for five pieces) which was chewy and slightly tasteless.
To drink we had the Kasumisuru Sake Kimoto Karakuchi (£9.50 for 170ml), at the waiter’s recommendation, warmed and my partner also had a Chilean Merlot (£4.80 per glass). A great place with surprisingly good atmosphere, bustling even on a Thursday night with near faultless food and friendly waiters.
• Kanpai Sushi, 8-10 Grindlay Street, 0131-228 1602