Restaurant review: Gili Gulu sushi restaurant, London

It’s hard not to know about Yo Sushi, the ‘famous’ conveyor belt sushi
restaurant, but what’s not so well known is that the idea is almost a
direct import from Japan where such restaurants are more common. Gili
Gulu is another along the same vein in central London just off the main
stretch between Leicester Square and Covent Garden.

One of the big things that you’ll notice about Gili Gulu compared to Yo
Sushi is the price: the set meals are more than enough for an early
evening snack and come in at £7.50 for either a large noodle dish and
three sushi’s or miso soup and 6 sushi dishes. Very good value and even
with a drink on top you can have a reasonable meal for around £10. The
buffet is more of a blow-out experience but for around £11.50 it’s all
you can eat, including any of the noodle dishes off the menu.

The interior is well presented but informal. The tables are ideal for
groups of four, yet the bulk of the seating is based around the conveyor
belt which snakes around the space. This is ideal for a couple or if
you’re on your own. Once you’re sat down and have decided which of the
menu choices to go for you simply watch the food go past and pick up
anything that you like the look of. In comparison to Yo Sushi there is
not the same range of dishes, and Gili Gulu is lacking some of the more
time-intensive sushi rolls, but at a much reduced price I certainly
aren’t complaining. There’s a choice of rice and raw fish sushi rolls,
with a light spread of wasabe, as well as a few cooked dishes for the
less brave. On the conveyor belt you’ll also find dumplings, plates of
noodles, peas in their pods, and a few ‘tourist pleaser’ dishes such as
chicken on skewers, spring rolls and prawn crackers.

The main failing of Gili Gulu, though, is that at busier times they
often don’t have enough staff. Although the food from the conveyor belt
is self service the idea of free tea refills loses its appeal if you
can’t attract the attention of someone with a tea pot. Not being a sushi
expert I can’t comment on the authenticity of the food but having
sampled the Yo Shushi experience (and it is still more of an experience)
I can’t say I have noticed any shortcomings.

Gili Gulu is a great place for a quick, informal meal before an evening
out or at the end of an afternoon in town. It’s certainly not an
upmarket restaurant but if you’re in the area and fancy some fast but
stylish food then I think it’s hard to beat.

Address: Gili Gulu, 50-52 Monmouth Street, London, WC2

Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden.

Review of Gili Gulu on London eats