Sushi Lunch…Itsu

I’m a big fan of all things Japanese, starting with sushi. I love eating fish and would happily give up meat, but never fish. My sushi journey began more than 10 years ago with a sushi selection pack from M&S and has progressed via Japan, to Russia where Muscovites are crazy for sushi, to Nobu where my husband took me for a birthday treat this year.

I was lucky enough to go to Japan on holiday a couple of years ago and spent the whole trip in search of the perfect sushi. For the record, the prize went to a tiny place seating 6 at the Tsukiji Fish Market where the chef dazzled us with his knife skills as we sat at the counter patiently anticipating the next amazing item he created for us. Eating the freshest ever sushi with jetlag at 5 am in the Tokyo fish market is one of the best experiences of my life.

My sushi taste buds had already developed since the early first foray with M&S sushi but when I travelled to Japan I got to taste how it really should be. Sorry M&S but you’re not it!

I frequently have sushi for lunch and have tried many different places. One of my favourites is Itsu. The sushi restaurant and take away chain achieved notoriety a couple of years ago for being the scene of the alleged Litvinenko poisoning. It managed to shrug this off (partly assisted by the James Bond themed window coverings it erected inside the Piccadilly store while the Police conducted their investgations) and Itsu now has numerous outlets throughout the City and West End.

I’ve tried most of their sushi selections over the last few years but have settled on the ‘Health and Happiness’:

Lid off…

I can’t have the soya sauce served with this selection so I keep a bottle of Tamari sauce to have with it instead.

So how does it taste? Well, the rice has a good consistency, sticky but neither gooey wet nor dry. The fish is flavorsome and fresh. I particularly like the small carrot and seaweed salad which comes with the H&H selection, it’s a good compliment. Is there anything I don’t like? Yes, a smal complaint. The little black sesame seeds three of the rolls come with. They drop off in the small dish for the Tamari/wasabi mix and get on everything else!

I rate the sushi on offer from Itsu highly and if you’re looking for a quick and easy gluten free lunch in central London, (so long as you avoid the soya sauce) I recommend you give Itsu a try.

Gluten Free Mrs D


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  1. Carol Ann
    June 3, 2010 / 12:36 pm

    Mind the crab in the Health and Happiness – it's a crab and crab stick mix – crab sticks are not GF – they have wheat starch to bind them!

    Maybe Itsu are using a new kind that don't, but I'd have a word.

  2. Gluten Free Mrs D
    June 7, 2010 / 8:04 am

    Carol Ann – Many thanks for alerting me to this. I've emailed Itsu to get a full nutritional / allergy breakdown on all their products as the website is not very clear. Sashimi, for example, is listed with gluten in the allergy list yet this should only be the soy sauce and without this, it should be gluten free.

  3. Pascal
    June 6, 2014 / 2:51 am


    Thanks for the info!

    I was wondering how you know if the rice vinegar they use in the sushi of places you recommend are indeed gluten free. I have seen some with wheat so besides the soy sauce I always need to know about the rice vinegar as well!!!!