I’ve always thought of Cirencester as being rather like Cheltenham’s little sister, hidden behind the somewhat overbearing shadow that the larger town casts. Cheltenham is generally considered the hub of the Cotswolds, with the racing, clubs, bars and restaurants and has always been rather showy-offy about it. But over the past 5 years or so, Cirencester has quietly stepped out and is confidently pushing forward to become the more appealing and enticing of the two Cotswolds destinations. Although the smaller of the towns, it seems that exciting businesses are willing to take a punt on Cirencester, which now hosts a growing selection of boutique clothes and interior shops (Parkinsons being the fore-runner covering both) and an impressive array of artisan food stops.
Its latest aquisition, ‘Soushi’ seems to be succeeding, where Cheltenham has yet to, with this fantastic Japanese eatery.
‘Soushi’ is a cafe-styled Japanese restaurant, with a light and characteristically minimalist interior. Striking oriental details combine with rustic chunky-wood tables and framed paper-cuts depicting exotic destinations, hang on the walls. Its tables sit mainly at large glass conservatory windows with the child-friendly addition of banquette booths. And ‘Soushi’ really is both a ‘couples’ and ‘family’ destination. We visited with three young children and whilst welcomed by staff were happily inconspicuous in our booth.
The menu offers an excellent selection of Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura, Bento boxes and Udon soups and we sampled from most of these. After tasty vegetable Gyozas and chilli edamame beans, we shared a Vegetable Tempura with Udon Noodle Soup and a Spider Roll Sushi Platter (Soft Shell Crab and Masago) which was an absolutely delicious combination of soft salty crab with it’s crunchy coating and the slightly sweet, nori wrapped sushi rice!
The only disappointing part of the lunch was the inevitable fact that we were going to have to leave and head back to Cheltenham, but not before I had attempted to talk the owner into relocating 30 miles up the road…in fact, I seem to remember offering to help find premises, I’m that desperate. Much as I love ‘Showy-Offy-Cheltenham’, I’ll not be happy until ‘Soushi’ is firmly established on my home turf!