Steamed edamame beans, once so exciting to scream between your teeth, can be skipped even sprinkled with spicy sea salt, leaving you Â£ 6 to spend, or, usefully, to spend. I highly recommend one, or even two, orders of crispy tuna tartare rice. The restaurant uses koshihikari rice, sometimes described as the crown jewel of Japanese short grain rice, and here its sweet nutty flavor is crisp in a transport for a tasty, finely chopped tuna tartare.
Our next pick, made with impeccable advice from restaurant manager Sue, is one of the signature sashimi: seared butterfish with spicy truffle ponzu (a citrus-based sauce). It tastes as pretty as its edible viola filling, with grill-tanned edges providing a contrast in texture. The tricky question of which assortment of sushi / sashimi to order is thankfully answered by selection boxes of seven pieces. Accompany them with freshly grated wasabi, essential for its flavor but also for its ability to crush bacteria. Much of the green paste disguised as wasabi in restaurants is actually horseradish, sweetener, and food coloring. Hot Stone imports the slow-growing plant from a Shizuoka farm and grates it at the table, its hue changing as the grater moves from rhizome to stem, its impact is much more subtle and beneficial than ersatz.