| Everyday Restaurants Personal

Valentine’s Day at SushiSamba and the Story of My Engagement Ring

Did I ever tell you the story of my engagement ring? And how I didn’t actually receive it until three months after we were engaged? The night Mr S finally put it on my finger, we went to celebrate at SushiSamba, back when it had just opened. No, I didn’t think I’d told you. So now might be a good time seeing as we went back to SushiSamba for Valentine’s Day this year.

SushiSamba is one of my favourite restaurants in the London, located in the Heron Tower, it has a stunning panoramic view of London and is perfect for a night out with the girls or for a romantic date. When an email came through advertising the Valentine’s set menu at one of our favourites, I knew it would be the perfect choice to celebrate our 7th Valentine’s Day together.

Now back to that ring… if you’ve read my proposal story you’ll know that when Mr S proposed to me, I didn’t know what was going on. It was Boxing Day and we were at the end of a five week trip to Australia and gone to a beautiful boutique hotel and restaurant on a clifftop called Jonah’s. After lunch he’d taken me outside and gave me the dessert menu into which he’d inserted a beautiful letter. After reading the letter I hadn’t twigged what was going on until he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him…. one reason that I was so lost was that he didn’t propose with a ring.

I mean, it wouldn’t be easy secretly carrying an engagement ring around Australia for five weeks especially given the number of flights that we did. But mostly because he knows how particular I am and that I would know exactly what I wanted. We flew home a couple of days after the proposal and had a busy time with New Years and one of Mr S’s best friends weddings….but then the engagement ring search began. 
(Green bean tempura)

Mr S isn’t someone who does things in half measures. He became a little obsessed with diamonds and researching the four C’s (carat, clarity, cut, colour) became a nightly occurrence. Mr S soon became ad expert on everything that there was to know about diamonds after trawling every website, forum, etc he could find. 
(cancha, popcorn, aji panca snow – addictive!)

Weekends were spent browsing jewellery shops looking for the perfect design…Tiffany’s, Boodles, Harry Winston… you name it…we went in there and I tried on every engagement ring there was. Even though I already knew what I wanted and had done since I was about 14…
(Seabass ceviche causa – aji amarillo, coriander, mandarin leche de tigre)

Despite multiple visits to the jewellery shop it was never his intention to buy a designer engagement ring, apparently you’re partially paying just for the name. So once his research was thoroughly done (only two and a half months after our engagement…) he headed to Antwerp in Belgium, the centre of the world’s diamond trade. 
(Short rib croquette, smokey mayo, aji panca)

With his parents along for the ride, Mr S spent the weekend in Belgium scrutinising diamond after diamond until he found the perfect one for his princess…
(Lobster gyoza – one of my favourite dishes)

Having found the diamond he arranged to have it made into the perfect setting and a wedding ring to fit perfectly with it. 
(Salmon nigiri, beetroot cured, coriander seed, beetroot crisp)

And all this time I was waiting nearly three months for an engagement ring. I have to say it’s quite strange to tell people you’re engaged when you don’t have a ring! You kind of feel like you’re making it up!

(Toro maki: tuna, salmon, yellow tail, tobiko caviar, jalapeño and Tiger Maki: takuwan, wasabi tobiko, crab meat, tiger prawn – way too much mayo)

It took about two weeks so it wasn’t long before the ring was ready and rather than risk having it sent, Mr S headed back to Belgium to collect his precious cargo. 
(Kobe ishiyaki cooked on a hot stone with pickled plum)

And with it being three months in the making he couldn’t just give me the ring, there had to be some sort on celebration. And with that in mind we booked a table at SushiSamba, the hot new restaurant in town but a restaurant brand that we already loved having visited the one in Las Vegas. 
(Mazzamora – yuzu sphere, maiz morada pudding, milk and cinnamon ice cream)

As you can imagine it was wonderful to finally have that ring on my finger after a three month wait. And engagement ring means so much more than a physical piece of jewellery, it’s a symbol of eternal love, commitment and honour. A complete circle that stands for infinity.

Anyway, I’m sure you can see why SushiSamba will always be special to me…. thanks to the restaurant for a fab Valentine’s day dinner and thanks to Mr S for finally putting a ring on it….

Heron Tower
110 Bishopsgate
0203 640 7330