Any Japanese food fan will already be familiar with Soho's Chotto Matte, the Nikkei hotspot that's as famous for the vibe as the plates. Overseen by Executive Chef Jordan Sclare, the restaurant has always offered an innovative menu ensuring the finest quality of organic and sustainable produce and was the first in London solely dedicated to Nikkei cuisine, the fusion of Peruvian cuising and Japanese techniques.
While their menu has always been worth trying, earlier this year the Harajuku Brunch was introduced, taking place every Saturday from 12pm. We popped down to give it a go...
As we said, the restaurant is as famous for its vibe as for its food, with massive windows (the ground floor of which opens up on to the Soho street come summer to really soak up the atmosphere) day-glo graffiti in the toilets and a buzzy vibe, though the dining booths are a little packed in, sometimes making it feel like you're on someone elses's date; they could probably do with removing one every here and there.
The three-course menu is accompanied by DJs providing the ultimate feel-good soundtrack, starting with fantastic sharing plates including Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, Warm Beef Fillet Tataki, and the restaurant’s signature Yellowtail Nikkei Sashimi with fiery jalapeño and yuzu truffle soy. Each is unsurprisingly fantastic, with big and yet delicate flavours and utterly melt in the mouth beef and sashimi. Next comes a choice of main, from some of the restaurants most popular icons, including the Sushi Doughnut Aburi, Sea Bass Fillet Tempura, and the much-loved Black Cod Aji Miso which arrived double at our table with a selection of sides. A firm favourite, this one didn't disappoint; at once crispy and flaky and utterly delicious, it's one of the bets we've tasted in London. Accompanying sides included steamed rice, padrón peppers and cassava wedges, all tasty in their own right without overpowering the cod. With a chef's choice of desserts including Japanese mochi ice cream the perfect finale, there's also a great selection of cocktails designed to complement the bold flavours of the brunch.
At £85 with unlimited cocktails or Laurent Perrier champagne, it might be at the pricier end of the London bottomless brunch scale, but for a special treat it's one to get in the diary. The food is exquisite and pick the right day and you'll definitely make the most of one of London's most buzzing restaurants.