Kulu Kulu Sushi Review – Best Sushi in London?
Published 27 September 2009
That is the question I keep asking myself every time I come out of a Kulu Kulu Sushi restaurant with a big belly. In many ways Kulu Kulu epitomizes the sushi dream for every guy: big generous portions, combined with cheap prices, and tasty and fresh sushi. What more could one want?
Sure, you could go to the Japan Centre supermarket at Piccadilly Circus to have more sushi for the same price, or cheaper sushi places in Brewer Street, or Nobu for the freshest and best sushi in London. But Kulu Kulu is perfect for the average guy who just wants to be filled, likes sushi, and doesn’t have a platinum credit card.
I discovered Kulu Kulu while I was a student in London and living nearby in South Kensington. Their South Ken branch, located on Thurloe Place, must have made thousands off me during my four student years, and if I could go back in time I would probably have spent more time there. From the outside, it looks like a typical budget Japanese restaurant; there is the conveyor belt, seats around the sushi bar, and self service tea. But take a seat and the first thing you notice is that the sushi looks humongous! The pieces of fish literally drape over the rice underneath, so that sometimes you can’t even see the rice ball. The fish slices are thick, succulent, and fresh, and there is a wide variety of conveyor belt fare from nigri sushi to california rolls to sashimi plates.
All this at very reasonable prices too; I usually spend about £10-£15, but that is usually 5-6 plates and me refusing to eat another sushi, which is rare. They also have a wide range of dishes, from the traditional salmon sashimi to more exotic seafood like soft shell crab. My personal favorite is the salmon and avocado roll; just watching the chef roll it in front of you makes me drool!
The only downside to Kulu Kulu is that if you don’t like sushi, you’re out of luck as they do not have any rice dishes or bentos, and their noodle menu is pitiful. The bowls of noodles with tempura are ok, but it really does seem like they added the noodles to the menu as an afterthought.
Kulu Kulu has two branches, one in South Kensington (Thurloe Place) and one in Soho (Brewer Street), and both are equally good in terms of the quality and dishes. The South Ken one does get rather packed in the evenings and weekends due to its limited space, and I believe there is a no-booking policy so you might have to wait a while for a space.
Verdict: Probably not the best sushi in town, but definitely acceptable for the price you pay and the amount you get! It was a perennial favorite of mine while I was a student and still is to this day, and a perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat before the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall or any other show there.
Address: Kulu Kulu Sushi, 39 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, SW7 2HP (Google Map)
Booking Telephone: 020 7589 2225
Website: no official website