You wouldn’t expect Japanese food to be on the menu when you walk into Candlebar…you’d expect pizza, a burger or maybe some posh fried chicken if you’re lucky. Definitely not the Japanese tapas and sushi menu you’re met with. Which is probably why I’ve never ventured in, I always tend to pop around the corner to Hana Matsuri in Meanwood…but last weekend P and I were over at Crown Point running errands (some boring, like buying a new TV and some fun like candle hunting in TK Maxx). We wanted quick, not too expensive but also healthyish… We decided on Japanese then figured Hana Matsuri would be a gamble since it has about 8 seats and no way did we want to venture into ‘proper’ town so after some Googling we settled on Edo Sushi at Candlebar.
Like I said, the food feels a bit at odds with the place. All craft beer and Kaiser Chiefs playing in the background. The menu is extensive though and split into sushi, Japanese tapas and bigger hot dishes. We opted for a mix going for lots of the tapas plates (5 for £20) along with some Avocado Maki (£3.50) and Inari Nigiri (£3.20).
Our food arrived all together within 20 mins and whatta feast… The sushi was delicious – soft rice and the perfect balance of sugar vs vinegar seasoning (P used to work in a sushi place so considers himself the resident expert on sushi rice preparation). Inari pockets are my favourite sushi; sweet, soft pockets of tofu filled up with rice and these were just as good as I’ve had at Hana Matsuri.
In terms of our Japanese tapas we ordered Veg Gyoza, Takoyaki, Tuna Sashimi, Softshell Crab Tempura and Wafu Salad. The gyoza were delicious – fried but not at all greasy with a vinegary dipping sauce to cut through the richness. The tuna sashimi was meaty and buttery soft; obviously excellent quality. I didn’t have too much of the crab as in my old age I’m struggling with deep fried food but the bit I did have was soft, well seasoned and not oily – really tasty with the spicy mayo. The salad, although maybe a boring option, was a good one (especially if you’re having a few fried dishes). Crisp and fresh topped with sesame spiked seaweed. The only dish I wasn’t too keen on was the takoyaki which are described as octopus dough balls… I knew they weren’t gonna be a ‘bit of me’ but gave them a go as P was keen to order some. Deep fried little balls which almost burst with a creamy, octopus filling when you bit into them. P really liked them but absolutely not for me – fishy cream is never gonna be a winner.
Really a very good Japanese offering from this fairly inconspicuous looking bar for a very good price – just over £30 for all the food and a drink each. As we were there for lunch, service was quick (we were in and out within about 40 mins) but did notice lots of reservations for the dinner seating so you might want to book.
So as the old saying goes – don’t judge a Japanese restaurant by its 00’s indie playlist.