After my review of Kurobuta’s pop up in Chelsea, the management got in touch with me to explain a few things and to thank me for my review. I was really flattered that they had read my review and that they welcomed the feedback. I was kindly given the offer to come down to their permanent location in Marble Arch, when it opened, which it now has, and enjoy an evening on them.
I relished the opportunity to try more dishes and have a better view of their menu and of course to see the new space. Let me tell you it didn’t get voted top date spot by London Eating for nothing. It’s a vibrant, beautifully lit, fun and exciting restaurant. It has all the qualities and charm of a high-end location, but without any intimidation or stuffiness. The kitchen is open for all to see and the beautiful low hanging bulbs add an enchanting ambience to the place.
To begin with I chose ‘The Green Bastard’ as my cocktail. This was Hendrix gin, cucumber and Midori. It was refreshing and cool. A really summery, very drinkable drink.
We sampled some wine called Gewürztraminer, which I’m told is going to be more mainstream in the next few years. It’s a different type of grape from the norm and strangely when you smell the wine, it isn’t that normal wine smell that so often puts me off, the aroma is that of elderflower. It tastes like elderflower cordial too. It’s light and sweet and vastly different from wine as you know it.
We ordered a selection of plates from most sections of the menu. A couple of my favourites from my previous visit were on there; the tuna sashimi pizza (still the winner for me) and the salmon and avocado gravadlax.
The restaurant added in a few extras for us that we hadn’t chosen, the prawn tempura being one of them. This was incredible, it was hot and had a beautifully light batter with a prawn that was meaty and that actually tasted of something. The sauce was light, creamy and spicy and the rice noodles not only looked wonderful but with a little sauce doused on them they could be a contender for a low-fat snack. It was an effortlessly cool dish, executed so well in accordance to taste, presentation and quality.
The Wagyu beef sliders were absolutely delicious, the one thing missing was a dash of sauce. It says that it comes with Umami mayo, but I didn’t detect this at all. It just needed a spicy mayo of some kind, under the patty, and it would have been perfect. I loved the crunchy onions inside, they were a real treat.
The miso baby chicken was fantastically smoky with a sharp yuzu sauce, the chicken was very tender and it was topped with very finely sliced jalapeno that gave it a really tasty kick. A tiny criticism is I felt yuzu was over used a little, not just in this dish in proportion but its use across the menu in many dishes.
The salmon sushi béarnaise was presented immaculately and the buttery béarnaise and crunchy fries on top were delicious, what I would have liked was something that added a bit of a tang to the dish to oppose the buttery salmon and béarnaise taste. Perhaps something simple like a sweet soy-glaze between the salmon and the rice.
The flamed edamame were really good, but I think I would have preferred them to have been grilled in garlic oil instead of butter, it makes for a nicer partnership with the rock salt.
I ordered the roasted scallops which I could just tell were going to be exceptional. They were heavenly! Cooked to smokey perfection it was a faultless dish. Melt in your mouth delicious and accompanied by mushrooms that bounced with flavour. This dish is a must!
We chose the doughnuts for dessert. This was a collation of pistachio parfait topped with honey coated hazelnuts, Limoncello jelly, the chocolate and hazelnut filled mini doughnuts enrobed in green tea sugar and a couple of other little delights. The overall part of this that stood out was the parfait. It was very cool in temperature without being iced, its texture was smooth with little a little crunch of pistachio and the taste was to die for.
The doughnut wasn’t as good as I had hoped, the shell of the doughnut was thin and hard as opposed to that freshly baked, light fluffiness I’m so fond of. It tasted good, but the hazelnut chocolate filling wasn’t quite creamy enough.
Overall this place is brilliant, it’s a really exciting restaurant, it doesn’t feel like you’re dining in London as I feel it’s unlike anything we have here. It’s reasonably priced and a great opportunity to sample new and authentic flavours.
Our waitress was wonderful, she knew her stuff inside out, she was unbelievably polished on knowing what dishes contained, what to recommend and she delivered everything in a charming, friendly and honest way. She made the evening what it was and not only did she engage with us, but she knew when to step away.
I’ll definitely be back, I have to work my way through the rest of the eclectic menu and order myself another tuna sashimi pizza…
Thank you so much to the Kurobuta team for your professional nature and for the ongoing support for laymytable. It means a great deal.
Kurobuta – Marble Arch
20 Kendal St, London W2 2YE
0203 475 4158
Follow them on Twitter @KurobutaLondon