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THE SCENE: Approach Ozu from whichever entrance you fancy and your night gets off to an auspicious start.

Walk along the sparkly-lighted Thames and climb steps up to the restaurant, or enter through the marble-lined County Hall and arrive in Ozu through giant wooden doors and you'll be suitably impressed.

Inside, the restaurant is minimalist and modern, with chefs sizzling up dishes in a central island surrounded by seats. At another bar, sushi is prepared fresh as customers order.

My friend and I sit at a table overlooking the Houses of Parliament, one of those views that makes you fall in love with London again.

Ozu, London

THE GRUB: We begin with the Renkon chips, crispy lotus root with seaweed powder, a good accompaniment to our cocktails. The grilled eel and cucumber salad is full of flavour and not overwhelmed by its dressing.

My friend and I haven’t seen each other for months, so we order gradually, working our way through Ozu’s sushi and sashimi menu. Of particular note is the scallop nigiri, which melts in the mouth, and the sea bream, a good choice for those wanting to be adventurous with their raw fish.

Roll-lovers will be happy with a menu that includes classics such as California Rolls. We try a crunchy roll with prawn tempura but decide to give the Pizza Sushi Roll (roast chicken, king prawns, pepperoni, mozzarella) a miss.

If you’re after something hot, Ozu specialities include grilled black cod marinated with sweet Japanese miso paste or the Wafu steak with Japanese-style creamy lemon garlic sauce.

The waitress is sweet and attentive and doesn’t roll her eyes when we are the last ones to leave but still want to try the green tea ice-cream, which, we discover, would have been a scandal to miss.

BEHIND THE BAR: Japanese green tea, a selection of hot and cold sake and a comprehensive wine and beer menu. There are also cocktails with a Japanese twist, including the delicious Kyoto Special, made with gin, lemon juice, Japanese shisho and sparkling water.

BILL PLEASE: Sushi sets from £12, three pieces of nigiri sushi between £5 and £13. Beer £4.50, wine from £5, cocktails from £6.

VERDICT: The food, service and setting are great. The atmosphere is slightly lacking in that diners are outnumbered by staff the night we visit. However, decide for yourself if that’s a plus or a minus.

4/5

Riverside Bldg, London County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB
Tube: Waterloo, Westminster
ozulondon.com

Review: Frankie Mullin


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Ozu, Japanese, County Hall Building - restaurant review
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