Sushi and Cocktail Class at Kouzu
As someone who enjoys eating as much as attempting to recreate delicious dishes I’ve loved back at home in the kitchen, I was excited to have been invited by Obby (a new online platform that helps you to discover and explore a passion) to experience Kouzu restaurant’s art of sushi making and cocktail conjuring.
I was particularly curious about this sushi making class in London’s stylish new Japanese eatery Kouzu. The only Japanese dish I’ve recreated at home has been chicken katsu curry, so I was hoping that by the end of this experience, I could add sushi making to my cooking repertoire!
Kouzu – The Restaurant
Housed in a historical Grade-II listed mansion in Victoria, Kouzu was the UK winner of the Global Sushi Challenge back in 2015, which technically means they were able to lay claim to the best UK sushi chef in Xia Jia Tian. The restaurant is split across two levels: a floating omakase sushi bar on the mezzanine floor and a downstairs bar exuding darker tones, complete with a glamourous hanging chandelier.
Sushi Making Class at Kouzu
Before we got stuck in, we were each presented with a platter of sushi rolls to taste, so that we could get familiar with what we were aiming to recreate in our sushi making class and have a benchmark to work against. Mine was gone quicker than an Usain Bolt 100m sprint, something I happily blamed on the HIIT workout session I punished myself with earlier in the morning!
As the sushi class action got underway, we were each given a plate of already prepared raw salmon and sliced avocado, as well as asked to slide on a pair of plastic gloves for hygiene purposes. The first trick was to smear our hands with mayonnaise, which apparently helps the sushi rice grains to stick together.
The fun part then began. Armed with pieces of nori seaweed sheets that were laid shiny side down, we started to flatten our rice balls across them. And after layering on a generous amount of spicy mayonnaise, we topped this off with a long slice of salmon and some avocado. The sushi rolls then started to take form as we used our bamboo mats to roll our creations into being.
While I’m proud to say that my first sushi class experience turned out surprisingly well (beginner’s luck?!), it was interesting to see the results from others around me, especially those that had tried to squeeze in too much. However, as we learnt other sushi making techniques such as how to create maki rolls and nigiri, our confidence grew through the practice. Practice does make perfect eh!
Cocktail Mastery at Kouzu
As the sushi making class drew to a close, we made our way to the mezzanine floor to learn how to make some refreshing cocktails. I’ve shaken and stirred a few before, but never attempted to make 10 cocktails at once. Talk about being dropped in at the deep end!
To kick off the experience, the mixologist introduced us to the pink classic American Clover Club, a cocktail that looked deceivingly simple to make, but actually involved a number of different ingredients to produce.
Mixing cocktails, each with their own unique history, always begins with chilling the glass. Baby raspberries, egg white and Chambord blackberry liquor were then thrown into the mix, resulting in a delightful mixture of frothy wonderment. As we savoured the Clover Club’s flavours, we moved behind the bar to begin strutting our stuff. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the bartending skills on display by those in the class!
As we savoured the Clover Club’s flavours, we moved behind the bar to begin strutting our stuff. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the bartending skills on display by those in the class!
For glamorous London cooking experiences like this one and others, from baking to art classes and from floristry to photography workshops, check out Obby. They are also running a competition for a Chef’s Table experience with Kouzu’s head chef, Xia Jia Tian, worth over £400.