Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
40 Charterhouse Street EC1M
020 7253 3444
12noon -2.30 then 6.00-9.00
Average price per head: Â£12
From the outside, Fluid looks like any other achingly trendy bar/club/restaurant in an achingly trendy part of town. Get through the door though and it's another matter. Fluid is a nice roomy bar, with lots of sofas and original coin-op games. They bill themselves as a "little corner of Japan in Smithfields" and the Japanese theme is obvious, from the sake cocktails and soft drinks - including the scary sounding but really quite nice Pocari Sweat - to the extensive sushi menu prepared by Japanese chefs.
It's a good solid menu with the occasional unusual flourish. Inari (around Â£2 for two pieces), sweet bean curd pockets filled with sushi rice and sesame seeds, were good. Futomaki (around Â£3 for four pieces), large vegetarian sushi rolls ditto. Nigiri sushi (Â£3 for two pieces), topped with shrimp and salmon, were the best value Nigiri we've had. Pick of the dishes though were the Gunkan sushi (around Â£3 for two pieces), which is "boat style" sushi with assorted fillings. Salmon and mango was every bit as good as it sounds while the fresh crab was clearly fresh from the market opposite. Miso Soup (Â£1 per bowl) was as good as you'll find in London.
Quite simply, Fluid blew apart my preconceptions. The food is healthy and tasty, stupidly good value. The venue is relaxed and pleasantly eccentric. And how good to find a place where you can have a beer and a chat over a plate of sushi: that's got to be more attractive than a packet of dry roasted.