Kurobuta – London SW3
March 13, 2014 § 1 Comment
A pop-up that plans to move permanently to Marylebone soon. But I would head to Chelsea asap, just in case.
I promise, one of these days I will tell you about a restaurant that does your usual a la carte. I realise small plates isn’t everyone’s thing, but if you’re tempted to venture into small plates territory, do it in style, Kurobuta style.
It’s a Japanese pop up, that looks nothing like a Japanese restaurant. Currently found on the King’s Road, though soon relocating to Marylebone, it’s bare and shabby chic setting is not exactly what you’d expect from an ex Nobu chef. But the charm, intimacy and bustle doesn’t feel awkward or temporary. It simply serves to enhance the entire evening.
A two sided menu of small plates will leave you wishing you had come with more people so you could order the lot. Starting with ‘Salmon Gravadlax and Avocado Tartare with Dill Mayo, Rice Crunchies and Fresh Yuzu Zest’ (£11) and ‘Yellowtail Sashimi with Kizami Wasabi Salsa and Yuzu-Soy’ (£13), we knew we were going to have to order more. Not because the portions were small, but because the dishes were both nothing short of incredible.
A meaty looking ‘Nasu Dengaku; Sticky Miso Grilled Aubergine with Sesame Seeds‘ (£8) was firm and sweet, with a candied crunch from what I presume were peanuts. ‘Flamed Edamame with Sake, Lemon, Butter and Maldon Salt’ (£4) were a unique twist on edamame beans, usually just steamed and salted. These were so good, I almost ate the pods as well.
I was worried the hefty looking ‘BBQ Pork Belly in Steamed Buns with Spicy Peanut Soy (2 Pc Per Order)’ (£13) might fill us up – the generous chunk of pork belly, smothered and dipped (repeatedly) into that sticky sauce, encased in a flame grilled steamed bun, was just too good. Obviously not too good to devour though. A much more light and elegant dish of ‘Beef Fillet Tataki with Onion Ponzu and Garlic Crisps’ (£10) was succulent, incredibly flavoursome and meltingly soft.
At the end of our meal we ordered a couple more dishes, including the ‘Baby Shrimp Tempura with Spicy Mayo and Warm Ponzu Dipping Sauces’ (£9.75) which I am so sad to say was, despite looking stunning, a bit of a let down, but in truth that is only in comparison to what we had had before. Everything else, I would recommend again and again and again. And again.
The finishing dish of ‘Pistacio Cake’ (£7.5) was a deconstructed, mountainous arrangement of fruits and home made candies, fluffy, bright green cake and sprinkles of goodness knows what but it was good!
Kurobuta is a treat. And one you should treat yourself to. It’s superb that it has already found a permanent home in Marylebone cause I’m looking forward to trying everything on the menu all over again, and every other dish we didn’t get round to. I’ve got it planned already cause I know exactly who I want to take with me and I just know he’ll love it.