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Friday, 29 August 2014

Peruvian vs. Japanese fusion works...Chotto Matte, I bow to you!

I've acclimatised to and even rather enjoyed a variety of odd food combos over the years and you'll be pleased to hear that some of them are not just a muddled composite of cheese and hope. Fusion or eclectic food has been on the rise in London and we are seeing more and more unlikely culinary blends, so when Kurt Zdesar lifted the lid on Japanese vs. Peruvian dining, who knew it would be such a golden ticket?! Welcome to Chotto Matte in Soho...

Unveiled in September 2013, I first walked through the sleek glass doors on Frith Street in February 2014, my most recent visit was lastnight, and I still recommended it to all and sundry without a filter! At first glance it’s almost a little too Shoreditch grit and glamour for Soho's more recently gentrified grime, but you quickly realise that beyond the [exceptional] graffiti, clean wooden lines and a shiny black interior, the décor seems to reflect a fusion of culture as much as the food does. It's dark, edgy and inviting in the winter, but there is also a retractable glass wall at street level, open in the milder months, allowing for pavement dining and colourful people-watching. Live music emanates sometimes too and you'll never find me arguing with a harmonica!

Corbina aji Amarillo: seabass, yellow chilli, warm citrus salad - £13.25
I'm ecstatic to report that not only has Executive chef Jordan Sclare created an exceptional small-plate mezze style menu at refreshingly affordable prices, he brings us three luscious 9-course tasting menus at £40, £50 or £60 per person (still one of my most favourite ways to sample the best of a menu!). The Ebi Tempura prawn sushi rolls are divine and the Corbina aji Amarillo is a sea bass dish, supremely cooked in yellow chilli and a warm citrus salad; the sashimi and ceviche are fresh and thoughtfully presented, the traditional pork and prawn gyoza have cassava mixed in with the filling, with a vibrant citrus purée for dunking, and the Pollo Picante is fresh and hearty all at the same time! There are some exceptions of course (beef fillet, pork belly, black cod and the suchlike), but for the most part, every plate is priced between £6.50 - £10.50 and you'll more than likely agree that four between two people will perfectly suffice.

The waiting staff are as diverse as the food, each with their own welcoming personality and all so far, super friendly. The front of house folk somewhat ooze glamour and are notably accommodating - I would recommend making a reservation for the most part, but if you walk in before 19:00, you should get a table most nights (thereafter though, this place is very popular and busy). I believe the sushi bar upstairs is held specifically for walk-ins, so it's always worth a try (I've booked only once in my multiple visits).

If you think you don't like sushi, get over it and book yourself a table here - Japanese food is not all about raw fish and Peruvian food is absolutely not all about ceviche. It's hot in here (literally and figuratively!), and I love, love, love it! I promise you will not be disappointed.


Nikkei Gyoza: pork, prawn and cassava dumplings, served on aji amarillo, butternut purée - £6.50


Sushi Bar 

Chotto Matte on Urbanspoon Squaremeal Blogger of the Week - Restaurant Guide Square Meal

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