"You’d be forgiven for ordering a cab home after your inevitable feast"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Fusion cuisine is one of those things that can either be terrifyingly bad or so amazingly delicious that you’re not sure how anyone came up with the idea, but you’re damn glad they did. Soho’s Chotto Matte undoubtedly falls into Camp B.
The restaurant itself is achingly chic, but despite the effortless elegance, pop-art graffiti strewn walls, open grill and industrial glamour look it manages not be seem pretentious. A bonus for Soho. I paid a visit with a friend for a catch up over a weeknight dinner, but it would equally make the per-fect location for an intimate date or a big group dinner; it basically looks like it belongs in Sex and the City.
The nikkei cuisine menu (a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese dishes), created by The Nikkei Boys, chefs Jordan Sclare and Michael Paul is simply perfection. With dishes ranging from ceviche and melt-in-the-mouth sashimi to spicy teriyaki beef hot from the sizzling grill, all of which focus on quality ingredients and flavours, you’ll want to make sure you’re properly hungry when you visit.
Don’t forget to order a Pisco Sour (or two…); zesty, zingy and oh so moreish it’s the perfect fodder for washing down the gastronomic delights that are about to follow. It’s worth a visit just for the cocktail menu to be honest, but that’s another date for another night. If (like me) you find the menu a bit overwhelming, ask for recommendations; having no idea where to start, Michael put together a personalised menu of star hits for my guest and I… and we demolished every morsel. To be honest, everything on the menu is amazing so whatever you choose you’re still going to have a damn good meal.
The tangy yet sweet padron peppers have to be your first up (tempting to just order seven bowls of those, but keep going), swiftly followed by the Nikkei sashimi with yellowtail, cherry tomatoes, jala-peño, coriander and the piece de resistance of yuzu truffle soy (which I could eat on everything, ever). We had a delicious dish of two types of tempura mushrooms; I hate mushrooms and yet found myself devouring them. THAT’s how good they were. Order some of the tuna tostaditas, be-fore moving on to the grill. We had chicken in miso with carrot, daikon and yellow chilli salsa, some fantastic grilled octopus and a succulent lamb chop.
Don’t even think about leaving until you’ve tried some of the sushi. Seeing as the restaurant was founded by the man who brought Nobu to the UK, it’s - somewhat unsurprisingly - all sublime, and the yellow came with another blob of that utterly sublime yuzu truffle sauce. Would it be rude to just ask for a jug of it next time I visit?
Impossible as it may seem after the feast, you’ll need to try the pudding. With a dessert platter ar-riving at the table (winner) we sampled the mocha ice cream of mango, yuzu and green tea, mac-arons, caramelised nut brittle, banana parfait the salted caramel chocolate fondant (To. Die. For) and their Peruvian chocolate cream with honeycomb, dulche de leech and Suntory whisky.
You’d be forgiven for ordering a cab home after your inevitable feast; God knows how we managed to walk. Every bite of the Chotto Matte menu was tastier than the last. With an absolute smorgas-bord of flavours and dishes to choose from, you’ll probably need more than one visit; despite the recommendation of ordering 4-5 small plates per person it still won’t be enough. After one mouthful I guarantee you’ll want to try everything. The only drawback I can note is that with the number of covers it does seem a tad squished at busy times; at one point I almost flicked soy sauce onto the jacket of the diner next to me the table was so close. To be honest though, you’ll be concentrating so hard on your plate and what’s going to be gracing it next that after a dish or two you won’t notice what else is going on around you. Granted it’s not the cheapest restaurant in London, but it’s worth every penny.
Laurel reviewed Chotto Matte on Wed 04 May 2016