Chotto-Matte is the latest opening from the man behind the Ping Pong chain of restaurants and the man that brought Nobu to Europe. It is a restaurant specialising in Nikkei cuisine (a Peruvian/Japanese hybrid) Bestie and I both really love sushi and ceviche, so when deciding on where to meet up last week, this was an easy choice.
Located on Frith Street in Soho, we walked into the huge restaurant and the bar area was already buzzing. We were seated at the back of the restaurant near the sushi counter and were left with a couple of menus to make our choices. It took us a while because the menu is long! Split into 10 different sections with an additional two sections for sushi, we were advised to pick between 6 and 8 different dishes depending on how hungry we were. Bestie left the ordering with me and as usual, I went a bit overboard. Originally I had started writing about each dish, but it really was starting to become quite an epic read. So I have decided to just write about the highlights and lowlights.
The dishes from the “While you are waiting” section are all pretty standard in restaurants serving this type of cuisine, but we really enjoyed the Canchas (£1.95) Described as corn puffs on the menu, it was something that neither of us have had before. The Cassava & Sweet Potato Chips with yellow tomato salsa, guacamole (£3.25) were also really nice.
|Left to Right: Cassava & sweet potato chips; Canchas ; Edamame|
The Aperitivos Frios were a huge success and we loved both dishes we ordered from this section. The Nikkei sashimi – Yellowtail, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, coriander, yuzu soy (£7.95) was extremely fresh and the jalapeno added nice warmth to the dish. The Seafood ceviche – Seabass, sweet potato, Peruvian corn, coriander, chive oil, citrus sauce (£7.50) was probably our favourite dish of the night. There were so many different textures – beautifully soft fish, crunchy corn and sweet butternut. The really tart citrus sauce was so more-ish that by the time the fish was finished, we were spooning it up to try and get every last drop of it.
|Left to Right: Nikkei sashimi, Seafood ceviche; Nasu miso|
The food we ordered from the hot sections were less successful. A little bland and underwhelming and almost all of the dishes could’ve done with an extra twist of seasoning. Though there was one dish that I ate almost entirely myself and that was Nasu miso - aubergine miso, apricots, puffed soba, sesame seeds (£7.25). It was simply divine. Such a contrast of flavours and textures with the soft aubergines, crunchy puffed soba, sweet apricots and slight nuttiness from the sesame seeds.
|Left to Right: Tostaditas; Nikkei gyoza, Cangrejos de concha blanda; Pollo nipón|
Service was as hit and miss as the food. Pet hate #1 Our bottle of sparkling wine was kept in an ice bucket away from our table and we often found ourselves with empty glasses. If you’re going to take our wine, at least make sure our glasses stay full! Pet hate #2 We were told when we arrived that they needed the table back after 2 hours, which is fine, but the bill was left on our table promptly at the end of our sitting and we were really hurried along. I understand that restaurants have a few sittings on busier nights, but I felt that this could’ve been handled in a much better way that wouldn’t have made us feel like we had to slug back our drinks and leave there and then. Saying that though, they have a DJ playing some really cool tunes, a late closing time and the bar was really hopping by the time we left; so I would go back to have a drink at the bar. Bestie on the other hand, wouldn’t be as keen.
The total bill including an aperitif, a bottle of wine and service came to £131.18. I would recommend you go for a drink, but I think there are other restaurants offering more consistently good food and service.
Until we eat again!
11 - 13 Frith Str, W1D 4RB