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Earlier this week, I headed to the newly opened Itsu restaurant in Notting Hill for dinner. It’s the largest of the sushi chain’s outlets and completely different from the smaller, takeaway Itsu stores that are dotted around London.
Downstairs is a beautifully decorated restaurant with two rotating sushi conveyors. The decor features broomstick lights, white feathered wings in cases, and a huge painting of a butterfly on one wall. (The theme reflects the lightness of the Japanese food.)
A Las Vegas-style illuminated sign points upstairs promising “Thrills”. Upstairs is the colourful Butterfly Bar, complete with bright perspex butterflies, a stuffed parrot in a cage, and a giant glitter ball.
There’s a good range of cocktails, and if you get peckish you can collect sushi from the restaurant downstairs using a tiered silver stand. I tried the signature Bell-itsu cocktail (champagne, passion fruit puree, creme de cassis and white peach), before going downstairs for dinner.
Being vegetarian, I opted for the vegetable gyoza (dumplings, Asian vegetables and glass noodles in broth), plus tenderstem broccoli and edamame from the conveyor. My companion had the grilled teriyaki eel and reckoned it had to be the best thing on the menu.
If you fancy a cocktail or a light, healthy Japanese meal in glamorous surroundings, Itsu Notting Hill is the place to go. I’d advise you to get there early though, as they don’t take bookings and it’s a popular place.
Itsu, 100 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11