Atari-Ya – small sushi bar on James Street

Atari-Ya prides itself on making each sushi order fresh, so be prepared to wait 20-30 minutes while your choices are prepared – there may be several orders in the queue in front of you, particularly for those dining outside on the pavement as well as indoors.

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Al fresco dining – on James Street pavement

It may be interesting to watch the sushi chefs prepare each item by hand (and there are a few of them) but it seems illogical, during the busy lunchtime period, not to prepare batches of the most popular items up front.

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Chefs assembling fresh sushi at Atariya James Street

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Fresh fish counter – plastic display models in front

You do pay for the fresh preparation too. On my visit yesterday, I ordered a substantial take-away of five pieces of nigiri which totalled £6.90 and one portion of sashimi @ £1.80.

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Two tuna, two eel + a prawn nigiri and salmon sashimi @ £8.70 total

If you want freshly made, reasonably priced sushi, consider going to Papaya in Mayfair (just off Berkeley Square) where four pieces of salmon nigiri is currently £2.00. But go early as sushi at Papaya sells out quickly and there’s always a long queue for Thai curries too.

I’m not in a hurry to visit Atari-Ya again. While the sushi was divine, it doesn’t warrant paying over the going rate or waiting half an hour for it to be assembled. That said, and on balance, it’s probably wise to phone with any take-away orders, in advance.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3 / 5
~ Type: Japanese, sushi
~ Address: 20 James Street, London (off St Christopher’s Place)
~ Postcode: W1U 1EH
~ Tel: 020 7491 1178
~ Nearest tube station: Bond Street
~ Website + menus: Atariya website
~ Location: Atariya map

Atari-ya on Urbanspoon

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