So, I’ve been craving sushi lately. A lot of it. Three times this week even. I think looming vacations and the summer season subconsciously puts me on a diet. I only want light, moderately-healthy foods. Not a bad insurance policy my beach body has. So, since sushi is part of my latest health phase, I was thrilled to stumble upon Oka, and later be able to add it as a must-do on the London Checklist.
King’s Road has everything, and most places will ultimately be good, due to the sceney area and high-end clientele. After visiting a friend, my husband and I decided to grab a quick lunch. Oka was the first restaurant we came across, and after assessing the pretty storefront, it was a no-brainer to step inside. They have a large front window that displays a beautiful flower arrangement, sharp, clean decor, and happy patrons.
Inside it’s cute, too. That large front window looks back out to the bustling road and a park with spring flowers. The restaurant has a bright upper level and a cozier level below. The entire place is covered in a wallpaper of assorted old maps, which I don’t really get to be honest, but nothing there offends me. I like the upper level shelving and the assortment of miscellaneous objects that they pack it with. Especially the little cat and fishbone picture. It’s adorable.
Oka isn’t about the decor, though. It’s fine enough for a casual lunch or even a date, but nothing earth-shattering. To me, it’s about the food. Sushi is another tough cuisine to get right in London. Most takeaways and restaurants are either extremely overpriced or just plain boring with unoriginal roll combinations. Oka, surprisingly was neither of those things. They had the classics–my husband was more than happy with a sashimi platter and bowl of edamame–while I enjoyed a spicy tuna, prawn tempura, mango situation, known as the Red Dragon roll. I also got a side of the mixed mushrooms in a chili sauce. The portion was so big that I actually took the leftovers home, and used them as a base for a chicken stirfry later that night! Everything was really tasty and reasonably priced.
I only have two complaints, and really they’re more nit-picks than anything else. I dislike the wasabi relish they use instead of a paste. It barely stays on your food and is very weak compared to the traditional version. And I feel like they teased me with their mention of brown rice. We all know that brown rice is a much healthier alternative to the white, sugary, hulled stuff, so I got excited when I saw Oka’s brown rice side, figuring it was also an option for rolls. This was not the case. They offer brown rice as a side only, which I think is just silly. Especially for their location. The sceney part of town would gobble up a healthy alternative for a £1 extra per roll, making Oka some money and me a satisfied customer. But, once again, London’s behind the times and the customer focus is just not what it should be. Oh well.
But aside from those small gripes, Oka was great. I will gladly go back, long after my health-kick is over. So, trust me and head to King’s Road to enjoy some high quality sushi. Oka won’t disappoint!
251 King’s Road
London SW3 5EL