Chisou: Solid, but unspectacular (September 2015)

Diners in Mayfair after sushi do not have to look too far. Chisou is one of many competing options in the area. It is always busy, does a decent job, but offers little that is tangibly different or ground-breaking. The emphasis here is on the traditional rather than the trendy and as with many more authentic Japanese style restaurants, the prevailing atmosphere is one of calm and discretion. Service is brisk and efficient even if a little gauche at times. Diners follow a relatively well-trodden formula of sushi, sashimi and maki offerings, which can be complemented by more substantial meat and fish dishes. Sharing options are also available. On a recent lunchtime, our sashimi selection was perhaps the stand-out, beautifully presented with some interesting and less mainstream raw fish options. The tempura, however, was somewhat bland and flavourless and the edamame beans over-salted. In other words, some good dishes were good, others less so, although none was definitively bad. At around £45/head (with just one beer each and a bottle of water to drink), pricing is not cheap, but consistent with other comparable Mayfair options. My advice: if in the Oxford Circus vicinity, then walk the extra five minutes and visit either Ikeda or Sakana-Tei for a superior experience.