Top 5: Best Salmon Sushi Boxes in LondonBy Angelica Malin
Introducing: Top 5 Best Salmon Sushi Boxes in London. First avocado on toast was all the rage, then it was gluten-free cupcakes and best soya lattes, and now it’s salmon sushi. I’ve wanted to write this for so long; I’m sick of bad sushi boxes – ones that leave your mouth feeling like cotton wool, ones with the fish-shaped bottles of soya sauce that are never big enough, ones that come with a Red Bull in Boots that you didn’t want in the first place.
Enough’s enough: I want the good stuff. So I decided to embark on an Omega Mission; I chomped my way through basically an entire river bank to find the best al desko lunches for salmon lovers.
To make sure these really were the best boxes for your buck, I ate them again. And again. And again. Without further adieu, I give you the most niche of all niches: London’s top salmon sushi to take away, ranked in price, taste, nutrition and uniqueness:
1. For the Simple Pleasures: Itsu’s Omega 3 Salmon Sushi Supreme
What: Salmon sushi, salmon & avocado maki, roasted seeds, itsu ‘no lettuce’ salad (9 pieces)
Flavour Wins: This box is spot on. The key to a great sushi box, I have learnt, is variety. Not too much that the rolls compete with one another and you’ve got a Salmon Cold War (Cold Water?) situation on your hands with one maki roll you actively dread, but enough to keep things interesting. This box nails that; the avocado maki is a nice creamy texture, the salmon sushi fresh and light.
Flavour Losses: I’m not convinced by the ‘no lettuce’ salad – what’s so wrong with lettuce? But the seeds are delicious; salty and crunchy, and if, like me, you sneakily sprinkle a whole load more on at the free counter by the til, it will make you feel much better about the rather high price tag for your omegas. It’s a little higher in saturated fat than other boxes, but you could always run around in circles at the till.
Condiments Wars: Soya sauce good, wasabi natural. The wasabi doesn’t have the lurid green glow of the e-number riddled one, but it doesn’t have as much kick as a result, either.
Word of Warning: The calories listed often don’t include the salad dressing; skip it if you’re on a low-sugar diet y’all
Go Bold: If you need even more variety, try their rather dear £7.99 Salmon 3 Ways Box (sounds kinky hey) which has the added bonus of thickly-cut salmon sashimi. Yum. And pick up a dairy-free coconut yogurt while you’re there.
Calories: 367 kcal / 2.4h sat fat / 15.5g fat
Photo: Itsu Instagram
2. For the Flavour Seekers: Abokado’s River Run
What: Salmon & avocado maki rolls dressed with masago, salmon nigiri and salmon sashimi on rocket & glass noodle salad with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger with a separate pot of sweet chilli & sesame dressing (11 pieces)
Flavour Wins: It’s already getting much of a muchness at this point – so I attempt to find something with a bit of a punch and Abokado wins out. I’ve always enjoyed their light, Asian-inspired flavours and there’s something beautifully simple about this box; the masago (tiny orange fish eggs) that coat the maki rolls actually give it a moisture in a way that sesame seeds cannot. It all comes together wonderfully with the salad accompaniments; the salmon sushi is brought to life (not literally) by that little pot of sweet chilli dressing and little noodles.
Flavour Losses: The nigiri is, as often the case, somewhat decorative, as the rice is a little too cold and the fish to thin to give it the necessary oomph. But still – this box beats their slightly cheaper Simply Salmon option (pictured above: £5.29 – 314 calories) which has the slightly offensive addition of chives (chives have no place anywhere but in Philadelphia in my opinion). The rocket in both boxes is a little Mary Berry (slightly bitter and wilty) but let’s be honest, you’re not here for the salad are you.
Condiment Chat: Nothing to report. The ginger is always a bit watery, like it’s in its own little herbal padding pool.
Handy Tip: They don’t add VAT tax onto Abokado prices until the till, so it’s always a tad more expensive than you plan.
Go Bold: Try the chocolate-coated raisins – they are unnaturally large for raisins. I’ve had many mental trajectories wondering how they get them so big. Someone please tell me.
Calories: 348 calories / 1g sat fat / 15g fat
3. For the DIY Job: Mori’s Seared Salmon Sashimi Salad
What: Seasoned seared salmon sashimi, mixed salad and shallot dressing (6 pieces)
Flavour Wins: Sometimes you want the taste of sushi without the Maki Monotony – this is where the sushi salad comes in. Be warned: often dry and limp, you need to find one with not too much salad and not rice heavy. The Mori salmon one rocks; the fish is not overly seared, just a tad pink on the edges, and they coat it in a black sesame seasoning which gives it an unusual, almost meaty, barbecue flavour. The radish, seaweed and sliced cucumber make it a real treat, and the lemony coriander dressing is perfect. It’s low in calories and saturated fat, too – perfect for the 5:2.
Flavour Losses: For me this box tops their Salmon Premiere sushi box, which comes with a rather odd carrot and beetroot salad, which I always thought was no friend to the salmon.
Condiment Chat: Their ginger is one of the best; pink in colour, really peppery, almost a touch buttery, and it doesn’t come pre-packaged. The wasabi is also made fresh that day – and if you ask very nicely they might make you an extra spicy one.
Handy Tip: You can buy pots of all their dressings – try the coriander one – and have a condiment party in your mouth.
Go Bold: They do delivery and at the moment there’s a World Cup discount for orders over £25. Just, saying.
Calories: 292 kcal / 1.8g fat / 1.44g sat fat
What: Salmon, avocado, cucumber rolls, green beans and edamame
Flavour Wins: I stumbled upon this bad boy when I was particularly bored of eating hefty sushi boxes and what a treat. The sushi rice is the best yet, not too cold, not too sticky, and the salmon sashimi atop the right is perfection. The little rolls are inoffensive nice additions, although they could be more generous with the filling. For £3.99, who am I to complain.
Flavour Losses: I’m really not sure what’s going on with the salad – since when did they serve french beans in Japan? They’re browning at the edges and a bit soggy. I do not support this.
Condiment Chat: Pre-packaged and highly addictive. They use Kikkoman which is a king in Soyaland; the ginger is also a bit watery.
Word of Warning: Some of Wasabi’s options are a little high in calories due to their fried and breadcrumbed nature – stay away from the pumpkin croquette salad (since when did croquette constitute a salad anyway) and the chilli mayo sauce if you are watching your weight.
Go Bold: Get an aloe vera juice and marvel at its ability to taste just like grape candy.
Calories: 180 kcal / 4.7g fat
What: Salmon sashimi, edamame, pomegranate, coriander, avocado and wakame seaweed on a bed of brown rice
Flavour Wins: 3 weeks in and I finally find something with brown rice. The absence of brown rice in takeaway sushi restaurants is surprising – considering it’s much healthier and more filling. I stumble on it at Feng Sushi, in a lovely ‘salad’: a deconstructed salmon avocado roll, basically, with some decorative fruit and a sprinkle of herbs. But it’s lovely; light and tasty. The wakame is salty and balances the pomegranate well, and the salmon is on the good side of thickly cut. It’s not cheap, mind, but you’ll very virtuous afterwards.
Flavour Losses: They could be more generous with the avocado. Or double the size of the whole thing, maybe. It’s also surprisingly high in calories; although healthy types will tell us that’s good fat, right.
Condiment Chat: Add your own. The salad needs a touch of dressing; be careful not to pour an entire sachet of soya sauce over it.
Word of Warning: You have to pre-order this or wait in store, it isn’t ready to go.
Go Bold: They also serve a limited amount of simple brown rice maki; the best being the soft shell brown rice maki, which comes with yuzu tobiko (lemony fish eggs), and will set you back £9.50 for 8 pieces but may well be worth it.
Calories: 622 kcal / 22.6g fat