Soho, off Oxford Street in Central London, is very popular on the weekend. Studded with small and big clubs, fluorescent lights and any kind of amusement, it's one of the most famous meccas for Londoners. Whatever you can expect from a weekend, you'll find it in Soho, from gold diggers to businessmen looking for new experiences, from dance music clubs to pizza restaurants.
One of my favourite activities in Soho, so far, has been to stuff myself with sushi. I love any kind of raw fish, taken alone or rolled in steamed rice with ginger, soya sauce and fancy matching of sesame seeds, cucumber or avocado.
The restaurant I usually go to is Hi Sushi, in Frith Street, and it doesn't offer only sushi, but a great range of japanese noodles, soups and fried dishes at very reasonable prices. However, since I've somehow become addicted to sushi and sashimi (for sushi virgins, sashimi is just the raw fish without rice), my commitment to that cosy japanese spot is for their buffet, available only on the evening during the week and lunchtime on Sunday.
The deal is that with less than 15 pounds you have unlimited sushi and a choice of eight other delicatessen, ranging from miso soup, tempura and any kind of fried fish or vegetable. For sushi lovers like me, this is heaven.
I went there with some friends, happy to get closer to the sweet sight of the colorful dish when, after our order, the young samurai announced impassive: "No tasting, no sharing". "I beg your pardon?", I mutter shily still deciding whether to be amazed or amused. "She ordered the noodles", attacked the stalwart waiter, "she cannot taste your sushi".
One of my friends laughed shamelessly out loud at the samurai’s face, the other one tried to cover her mouth but a chortle managed to leak out. As for myself, I was speechless.
And then we learned about the existence of an appendix on the table with the Five Commandments of the Evening Buffet. Among the funniest ones:
1. No tasting, no sharing
2. Buffet is not take away
3. You will be charged five pounds for any waste
4. You will be charged five pounds if you talk too loud (ok, I made this up...)
Feeling guilty for something I had not done yet, I started tackling my sushi with less enjoyment. The food is nice, the place is cosy, but strict rules even at a restaurant is really too much.