I rarely “shoot to kill”, but always on the basis of a good reason, it really has to be an overall unpleasant or a truly negative experience and too many mistakes to criticize a restaurant like this, but always intending to let them take action on the matter they can improve themselves, from my point of view it is a positive opinion in order to get better.
But the truth is that only improve those who are willing to listen, those with open minds, those who really know that if they listen, analyze, understand and take action can achieve much more. Not so for those who believe they know everything and are airtight thinking that everything they do skims the unattainable perfection and no one can say otherwise, and often their self-defense mechanism is to answer "What this guy knows about Japanese food or sushi restaurants ", “Who is he to criticize us in this way?”, if you think you know everything, you still need to learn…
But anyway, that depends on everyone, I just try to help and contribute to a good cause, the sushi lover market, trying to identify those who actually provide a benefit to it, in every possible single way.
Having said that, I hope the people of Tenshi does not disappointed and understands that what I describe here is the result of a bad experience with the purpose of contributing positively and not just a bad review with intent to discredit.
If you go to a restaurant on a sunny Sunday afternoon expecting to sit on a terrace to enjoy a good sushi and a cold Japanese beer with your family, and suddenly you find out that is full with people who apparently are part of the team or their colleagues (we knew it later) like they were on a beach having Costa coffee who looked us up and down, it is clear that the thing did not start with the right foot.
We realized that something was wrong, however, we entered anyway and asked about the availability of the terrace to the welcome waitress, very subtly replied that she would tell her colleagues to give us a table, clearly we said no, we were very uncomfortable, we did not mean to disturb anyone, but it is clear that there are no order of priorities.
The restaurant was completely full, at least downstairs, so they took us up through the stairs to the second floor, which I would advise clearly is an area for the benefit of the restaurant instead the guest, otherwise how do you explain the lack of staff and the eternal delay dishes, it was like the Bermuda’s triangle, they just totally abandon you.
Finally, the upper floor is divided into two rooms, we were seated in the most pleasant one, which has natural light from a small window that illuminates the five tables. Immediately as we sat down we asked for some salty edamames a couple of Kirin pints and a ramune (Japanese soft drink), which came after 5 minutes, everything was good by then, at the same time we placed our second food order immediately.
Notably we were the second table to arrive and the first to order, obviously after the first table that was there. Quickly diners were came in and sat down on the rest of the available tables, however, we were perplexed to see how they served others before us, leaving ours last in the requested order, while this was happening, we tried to call the attention of the staff without any success, I ignore if they were ashamed for their mistake or if they were just so stressed running up and down that gave them no time to look at our upraised hands as if we were in a 80’s rock ballads concert, we were just missing the lighters to hold them on.
When finally the waiter approached to our table, we asked him if everything was all right, he answered in a very quickly way “sorry, usually sushi takes times”, and left without giving us the time to tell him back that all of the tables ordered after us and they were already eating sushi... They were not interested about us at all, but believe me, if I did not call the waiter to see what was going on, it could take more time.
We were very patient and we decided that this negative detail would not embitter our family Sunday, however after half hour the waitress came with a simply apologize and one of our dishes, a pork okonomiyaki, one of my favorite Japanese dishes, let say it was well done, it may be taken longer because it was on the verge of cooking, almost burned, if I forget for a moment about this unpleasant taste, was very good, although I would have preferred that they charged me a little bit more to enjoy more sauce, it was poor in this matter, I appreciated the nice touch of katsuobushi or bonito flakes, but not so the huge pieces of ginger randomly distributed in the filling that surprised us occasionally with every bite we took.
After receiving the okonomiyaki, the waitress found out my anger and began to get us the rest of the dishes, a tonkatsu pork, past frying oily thick hard pork cuts, my daughter’s favorite dish unfortunately she was unable to eat it. I imagine because it was Sunday, they had run out of sauces, or they were carefully measure them, because otherwise I can find no other explanation why they did not served they way it supposed to be, and in case you were wondering, yes, it was missing a lot of sauce. The tuna and salmon hosomaki, at least they were tasty, well-proportioned, the rice was well-seasoned and at the correctly temperature as well, although its presentation was not the proper one.
The idea was to order dishes very slowly, but seeing the situation regarding the service and the preparation of dishes we decided to leave, but took us another fifteen minutes to just ask for the bill, while the table remained full of empty dishes. I took the option of get down to pay, while my family waited for me upstairs. While I was asking the check to the welcome waitress I also absurdly asked for the manager, obviously he/she was not in the restaurant, otherwise I can not explain such a disaster, but to top it off, after paying, I was stopped by another stressed waitress, apparently she thought and kindly let me knew that I was leaving without paying, it was really uncomfortable being observed suspiciously by almost all the staff.
Rarely happen that I left a restaurant altered, this time was one of them, because of a really globally negative experience, mostly they did everything wrong.
I hope as I said earlier to take action in this matter, and believe me, this is the second chance I gave them, the first time was in December, on that occasion the food turned out to be better than the second visit, but the service was lousy and poor.
To get a good restaurant, does not matter if its fine-dining, casual, fast-food, food stall, etc. you need to focus among others things in the consistency and attention to every single detail, offer a satisfactory experience to the guest. It is much more than just limit your self to serve a dish and apologize for money, needs passion… I couldn’t see that love and performance in Tenshi this time.
Address: 61 Upper Street, Islington N1 ONY.
Ange, London. Uk