I had a bit of an odd day on Saturday. I stayed up late on the Friday night to watch the opening ceremony of the London Olympics (the procession of the athletes went on forever!), which I loved. I think Danny Boyle did us all proud. But it meant I was exhausted on Saturday morning when I had to get up early to make 40 scones. I was catering for my friend Sally’s family get-together. It wasn’t necessarily a big event, just enough fresh scones and a selection of sandwiches for a get-together for her extended family.
When I returned home from her parent’s house at 2pm, I was really beginning to feel the effects of having only five hours sleep. I lay down on my sofa and didn’t wake up until 7pm! I looked at my phone and saw I had several missed calls from my best friend Carmen. We had planned to go out on Saturday night and she was desperate to know what the plan was. Since it was already well into the evening we decided to stay local. I hadn’t eaten anything yet and was starving so Carmen suggested dinner. We went through our options and decided to go to Tsunami in Clapham North. I have been to the Tsunami on Charlotte Street in the centre of London many times but I hadn’t been to the Clapham one before. Luckily, they had a table available at 8.45pm so we booked it, I got changed and headed out.
Walking into the restaurant, I much preferred the decor and the atmosphere of this one compared to the Charlotte Street one. It seemed less stiff, and much more fun.
We sat down and decided to treat ourselves to a bottle of Sancerre, my favourite wine. Perfect for a balmy summers evening.
Then we set about ordering the food. Every time we go to Tsunami we have the same mains…the black cod and the truffle rib eye. Both are sublime and I couldn’t bear to order anything else. I know I’m probably missing out on lots of other incredible mains but I don’t care. I’d hate to order something else then regret it.
So that was our mains sorted. For starters, Carmen immediately opted for Snow Crab Shumai…Steamed dumplings filled with snow crab & prawns. (£5.70)
I’m so glad she did. I wouldn’t have ordered that normally and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the night. The dumplings were beautifully soft; the crab and prawn filling was amazingly sweet. We both loved it. If we didn’t have 3 more starters still to come we would have ordered another portion. We did notice that a lot of tables around us were also ordering it so it appears to be a favourite of a lot of people.
Next up was Grilled Scallops with masago & creamy spicy sauce flambée with whisky. (£7.70).
I have had this many times before and loved it but this time it wasn’t quite as good. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe not enough scallops? Maybe too much sauce? I don’t know. There did seem to be an awful lot of sauce. That’s not necessarily a bad thing mind you, the sauce is lovely, but it overwhelms the scallops. It is served in its shell upon a mound of salt, however it usually arrives in flames. This time it didn’t. It was essentially a shell full of sauce with a few thin slices of scallops. I think the dish could be vastly improved upon by serving whole scallops as it would add more texture and bite and you would actually get to taste the scallops themselves.
Then the organic lamb cutlets with Korean kimchi chilli arrived. (£8.70)
Beautiful juicy, tender, flavoursome lamb and the chilli had a nice warm heat to it.
Next up was Nasu Goma…grilled aubergine with sesame paste (£5.75)
I love aubergine so anything with to do with aubergine will always please me. This did not disappoint. The grilling of the aubergine added real depth to the flavour and the sesame paste was lovely and nutty. If I could change anything I would reduce the amount of paste that the aubergine slices sit on as it began to overwhelm the taste of the aubergine. But I still really enjoyed it. Carmen was less happy with it.
At last it was time for the main event…the truffle Rib-Eye steak, served medium rare and thinly sliced and mixed with exotic mushrooms & fresh truffle sauce. (£15.90)
I cannot begin to describe how delicious this dish is. I love anything with truffle in it…add mushrooms and really good steak and you really can’t go wrong. Even if this was served without the steak I’d still be happy with it. The sauce is incredible. Its like an explosion in your mouth. I am in love with this dish and it keeps me going back to Tsunami over and over again.
But the truffle rib eye has serious competition in the shape of the Gin Dara…grilled black cod in sweet miso, (£19.90)
This to me is a perfect dish. Equally as delicious as the truffle rib eye but in a very different way. Where the truffle rib eye’s flavours are strong and punchy, the black cod is delicate, sweet, tender and succulent, with a velvety melt-in-the-mouth texture. The sauce was very sweet but that didn’t bother me at all, it just served to enhance the natural sweetness of the fish.
We were incredibly full by the end of our meal. Understandable considering we’d had 4 starters and 2 mains between the two of us!
We were in that ‘so full I want to lie down and go to sleep’ mood so we decided to move outside into the fresh air. Carmen decided to order an espresso martini. I abstained. That is until she told me to have a sip. Holy cow, it was amazing! I immediately ordered two more. Another one for Carmen (I’d had about half of hers by this point) and one for me.
Within minutes we were wide awake, full of energy and raring to carry on. However, when we went to order another 2, we realised that there was no-on left in the restaurant and the bar was closed. Boo. So we paid up (£152) and walked up Clapham High Street looking for somewhere else to carry on drinking. We did…we drank and danced til gone 3am…I don’t remember our journey home and I suffered terribly the next day. But it was worth it, it was a great night.
I have never had a bad experience at Tsunami. I think I will stick to the Clapham branch though as the atmosphere was much more fun that the Charlotte Street branch. The menu is very reasonably priced for the quality of he ingredients and the staff are incredibly friendly and unpretentious.
Tsunami Clapham, 5-7 Voltaire Road, Clapham, London, SW4 6DQ
T. 020 7978 1610