Itsu, as defined by their website, was created by the early pioneers of Pret A Manger. Their restaurant strives to provide their customers with healthy, fresh, and simple meals - a "eat beautiful" motto! It's also located in the UK only.
I had not heard of Itsu until my friend and I suddenly came across it while searching for a place to eat!
It looked nice and there seemed to be a lot of people coming in and out of the store - the menu looked pretty good too and the prices were decent.
I was hungry, and since it was Japanese food, I was looking forward to it! The food looked fresh and quite tasteful actually, but as an avid fan of sushi and miso soup, the sushi turned out to be pretty good but as far as the miso soup goes... I must say "Woah there."
What I saw in the restaurant was definitely fresh, simple, and GREEN! It looked really good. I don't have any photos of the restaurant itself, but I surely have the pictures of the food I ate!
I had a spicy tuna roll (top right), a spicy salmon roll(bottom right), and miso soup (left) - surprisingly, for my taste buds, the spicy salmon was better than the spicy tuna.
Of course, before you read anything else, I must stress this in the beginning: This is solely my opinion. Your experience at Itsu could have been completely different from mine (or might/will be different from mine)!!! I am not writing this sort of review to attack Itsu or to prevent people from going to Itsu - NO THAT IS NOT THE CASE - I am simply stating my opinion on what I tasted. You may or may not have the same opinion as I do.
Although not written in the ingredients list, the spicy tuna roll has flakes of chives on the outside of the rice. It's an interesting combination because the bitter taste and the scent of the chives with the spicy tuna wasn't particularly horrible, but for my taste buds, it wasn't' the best combo either. Also, having the pickled ginger in the sushi wasn't the best either. I felt like the pickled ginger's taste overpowered the taste of the spicy tuna. Another thing that I would like to add is that the tuna seemed a little too stringy. It might have been the particular container I grabbed, but regarding the one I had, the spicy tuna roll could have been much better.
Onto to the spicy salmon roll! This roll was pretty good. The only con I might add is that there were too many sesame seeds on the roll. I'm a fan of having sesame seeds on rolls but I just thought that there was a too much, making the flavor of the seeds really strong. On my grade scale, 1 being inedible to 10 being THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER, The spicy salmon roll was a 6/10. The spicy tuna roll was a 5/10. Both rolls weren't HORRIBLE but it definitely had it's cons.
Last but not least, the miso soup.
I hadn't had miso soup in a very long time so I was really happy that I would have some but after the miso soup was placed onto my tray, the scent had me a little suspicious. There was the usual salty, miso paste smell but there was something else lying beneath the scent and it was clearly apparent in the taste.
I will go ahead and assume that they put in pickled ginger into the miso soup because I don't know how to explain the miso soup taste. It was really awful. I give it a 2/10. I would give it a 1/10 but it seemed inedible because the woman in front of me was slurping the soup quite well.
Looking forward to the traditional miso soup, the soup that I tasted was completely different. It was a little more thick, and the taste was definitely not miso soup. Miso soup is filled with a light flavor of miso, not with bitterness. While tasting the soup, a part of me thought it tasted like soap. There's no other way to describe the taste of this particular miso soup other than, "it tasted really bad." For those you of who would want to try it, go ahead. Maybe you'll like it, or even love it, unlike me.
At the end of the day, will I ever go back to Itsu? Sure, why not. I can try other things too.
Will it be my first choice? Probably not.
Do I recommend other people to go there? Yes. Just because I didn't have the best experience doesn't mean that the next person is going to have the same experience, especially because everyone's taste buds are different!
Until next time~
May you taste something wonderful! :)