Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Black Veil

Is Kushi-Ya Any Good?

3 December 18 words: Ash Dilks

The Japanese restaurant serves beautifully arranged food that doesn't skimp on flavour...

Kushi-Ya now lives where the venerable Alley Cafe used to. The small space has been stripped back and made to feel spacious with exposed beams, wood-panelled walls and traditional Japanese robes adorning them. Through a huge aperture, chefs work fastidiously over a long, charcoal grill.

We started with the prawn shumai (£3.50): soft dumplings served on a small pool of light broth. I nodded to my dining partner; this was looking good.

From the small plates and skewers menu, we ordered salmon tataki (£6.50): medallions of salmon seared on the outside with a citrusy, ponzu-style sauce, and sticky rice furikake (£3.50): “furikake” meaning “sprinkle over”. Traditionally, chefs top the rice with their own dry seasoning and Kushi-Ya’s is shiitake mushroom powder, kombu seaweed, aonori, mixed sesame seeds, beetroot powder and salt.

The tofu katsu skewers (£3.50) were so good we ordered them twice. The tofu came coated in crispy panko crumbs and served with katsu sauce for drizzling. We also sampled the beef skewers (£5) and the chicken-thigh skewers (£4.50), and both were exceptional. We also went for the grilled avocado (£5) topped with crispy shallots and yuzu kosho; a blended paste of green chilli and zest from the yuzu fruit.

Each dish is presented as if designed purely for the ‘gram, but there’s a relaxed vibe and it’s all about the flavours and delicate respect of ingredients. There’s nothing too spicy or in your face, but they’re not afraid to be brave; duck-heart skewers have featured on the specials board.

Their lunch offer of a snack, two skewers and rice for a tenner is great value. If you like Japanese food and enjoy tapas-style eating, you should check out Kushi-Ya.

1A Cannon Court (off Angel Row) NG1 6JE. 0115 941 1369

Kushi-Ya website

If You Love LeftLion, Support LeftLion...

We are part of what makes Nottingham unique – not many cities in the world have a free press like us. The coronavirus pandemic has hit us hard. Until March we published ten thousand magazines every month, distributing them for free to over 450 venues in and around Nottingham. As we head back into print we are asking our readers and the people who love what we do to support us.

Support LeftLion now