Henry Norman tries the dishes that are hyped on the high street – are they more than a flash in the pan?
Sugoi JPN serves up its ‘Japanese Latin street food’ from three London locations.
£7.00 (chicken or veggie fillings), £9 (seafood).
The menu says:
‘A crispy tempura with sushi rice and Japanese-Latin fusion fillings’.
The hype says:
“The best tacos in London”: SquareMeal; “The tacos are absolutely delightful”: TheLittleLondonVegan.com; “Sugoi JPN is quietly revolutionising Latin-Japanese fusion food”: The London Economic.
When we interviewed Sugoi JPN way back in about, ooh, approximately two lifetimes ago (or ‘October 2019’ as it used to be called), we were told that consolidation was the priority over expansion. It is therefore even more impressive that, despite everything, this predominately dark kitchen business is providing a ray of light for the sector by recently opening new outlets.
On inspection, its fare isn’t a true 50/50 fusion food – more Japanese with a slight South American inflection. When it comes to the trademark Noritacos in particular, the construction may mimic Mexican, but the actual ingredients are overwhelmingly oriental. However, the fused fillings are as admirably original as the concept itself.
From the seafood selection, the Tropical (which includes salmon, tuna, mango and avocado) is undoubtedly the big fish, while the Diablo (karaaga chicken) provides more bite, in both the taste and texture departments. They’re delightfully light, though, so give in to the power of the dark side and sample both (… and the takoyaki octopus side).
Should you believe the hype?
Taco chance on these.