If you still have an expense account and like your fish raw, sliced up in front of your eyes, or even torched, City Miyama is the place to lunch like it's still 2006.
Apparently there are quite a few places in the City I have not heard of, let alone tried. Not wanting to give up lunches in times of the crunch, we usually revert back to 'value-for-money' places like Wagamama or Ping Pong, but every once in a while the occasion arises to up the ante.
On this occasion it was a former senior member of my team who wanted to catch up, and suggested sushi at City Miyama. He admitted to having been a regular when he was still in banking, when the living, as well as the money, was easy.
I accepted and ventured to a side street off St Paul's to find a slightly unassuming restaurant with a number of tables and exactly eight front row seats at the counter in full view of the sushi chefs. Unsurprisingly, he had reserved two of those prime seats and proceeded to order a selection of sashimi and sushi which was sliced and diced while we played catch-up.
As it turned out, the food was delicious, the sashimi selection as fresh as you could ask for, the sushi rolls immensely tasty. My arachnophobia usually prevents me from eating anything involving soft shell crabs, but in this case the circumstances made me suck it up and devour the sushi rolls with crab legs sticking out. I didn't regret it.
As a special gimmick, some of the nigiri is topped with fish that is torched by hand, which adds entertainment and in fact, taste. Rounded up with a serving of scallops and unagi for good measure, we had spent the biggest part of 90 minutes eating essentially without break and contemplating the future, and indeed the past, of banking.
And when the bill arrived at £50 per head, I think the contemplation of the fat years of banking became just that little bit more pronounced.
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