I stumbled upon Otoro Sushi one afternoon when I was buying some seafood from Birmingham Indoor Market. Yes, despite appearances (and my Instagram feed) occasionally I do cook for myself.
Despite being slap bang in the middle of a indoor market that always has a fairly prolific smell of fish, Otoro was busy. And by busy I mean full. The wait for a seat meant I ended up having to return another time to eat but, to be fair to the place, it does only have space for six customers at a time.
Nestled in the heart of the markets, this tiny sushi bar creates your platters right in front of you. I’m told, by one of the regulars perched next to me, the chef was trained by sushi masters in Japan (good start) before moving back to Brum. Watching him slice and roll with such precision I can well believe it. He doesn’t say much but his food speaks volumes.
My Master Selection (one of the smaller platters available) combined classic fish and vegetarian pieces, presented neatly with pretty wasabi and ginger garnishes to use at will. California rolls were packed generously with white crab meat and perfectly ripe avocado, each topped with a dot of wasabi mayonnaise for heat. Salmon and tuna maki made for 8 delightful mouthfuls, and a single delicate prawn nigiri accompanied the rolls. I wasn’t that enamoured with the omelette which tasted of very little and needed a liberal spread of wasabi to give it some kind of personality.
Primarily, I loved that the sushi was prepared fresh to order. It’s not been left to fester on a slow moving belt for an hour, poked and sniffed by randomers sat across the room. Now I know how fresh the fish that’s used is, next time I’ll definitely pick a sashimi set. There’s a mixed salmon platter my neighbour was eating, including a variety of pieces including sashimi, that looked great.
Earthy Miso Soup – a combination of dashi stock and miso paste – had a subtle hum of heat and freshness from spring onions. I ordered a bowl as a hangry afterthought but enjoyed every drop. Unlimited Green Tea comes in a cute Japanese teapot and you’re invited to ask for refills.
A lovely little independent relying on good honest food to fill seats, not gimmicks. Yo! Sushi this is not, and for that we should all be thankful. Don’t be put off by the location, give it a go.
Otoro, Birmingham Indoor Market, Birmingham, B5 4BQ
Disclosure: I paid in full. All words, photos and sushi happiness are mine.