Hai Street Kitchen – Leadenhall Market – London
Fusion food. Who doesn’t like the idea of combining foods, to get the best of culinary worlds colliding? Now imagine if you will, the love child of combining fresh ingredients you’d expect to have in a Japanese sushi bar and the flavours that pop in a Mexican burrito. BOOM! What’s come forth, from the mind of American chef, Takao Iinuma, is the Sushi-Burrito, which as some of you may have guessed, I’m a sucker for food in that oh so convenient, tube form.
So come one lunch time, looking to embrace my hunter/gatherer instincts, I ended up at the Leadenhall Markets, where I’d been meaning for a while to check out Hai Street Kitchen, home of the Sushi-Buritto. With it’s invitingly, irreverent name, I decided to venture to the store and see what was on the menu.
Arriving at the market court yard outside the store, there were quite a few seats to dine el fresco, on this tasty treat. Now the concept of Hai Street Kitchen in general, is very much like ordering a Subway Sandwich sub, where you decide what you want, including whether you’d like the food in a bowl or as a burrito, you get to choose the various protein items including, delicious ingrediants, such as portobello mushrooms, chicken katsu, grilled pork belly, flank steak, seared salmon sashimi and prawn tempura
Once you’ve worked out what you want, you can then select what ever salads and sauces that you want, where you can see the influences such as, chimichurry, spicy gochujang, spicy mayo, yellow curry, tomatillo salsa and even teriyaki sauce.
So with all this choice, what did I decide upon? Well something fried of course, so my sushi-buritto de jour, was the Chicken Katsu, with a side order of Hai Street Kitchen chips with wasabi gaucamole and washed down with a refreshing hibiscus ice tea.
The sushi-buritto itself, came in a interesting hexagonal box, really convenient for take away, housing this delectable treat which I doubled as a servng tray for the thick cut and crunchy corn flour tortillas.
While the packaging is nice, what you really want to know is what does it taste like? The red cabbage gave it a nice crunch, with the vinaigrette leaving a nice balance to help with the natural sweetness of the rice. As for the katsu who doesn’t like deep fried chicken?
Eating the sushi-burrito, is kind of like a guilty pleasure. For those of you that like to make you’re own sushi, you normally make it in bulk and I’m sure you’ve asked yourself, what if I was to make this just for myself? Is there any point of cutting it into bite size pieces, if I’m not going to share? In which case you’d probably be tempted, to make the fattest monster nori roll you could, not bother to cut that bad boy and just scoff the lot, caveman styles, with the relatively healthy and oh so tasty, sushi-burrito literally in hand.
Now you’re probably thinking, what of the sides and drink? The tortilla’s were uniform and quite light. If you were to fill a bowl of them and watch a film, I’m pretty sure you’d finish them before you were half way through the film. The wasabi gaucamole itself, was quite interesting. Not as intense as wasabi peas, with a more creamy texture due to the advocado, the more gaucamole you spread, the hotter the wasabi effect. The hibiscus tea was surprisingly refreshing, I’d definitely have it again on a warm summers day.
So how would I rate Hai Street Kitchen? Healthy and nutritious, if you happen to be in the leadenhall area, I’d check it out. While it wouldn’t be my go too place, the convenience of a Subway for Sushi-burrito’s makes it worth taking a look, if not just for curiosity sake.
38 Leadenhall Market
London, United Kingdom
+020 7283 0709