Kurobuta started out as a pop up in Chelsea by chef Scott Hallsworth, the man that took Nobu to Australia. Now from where I live, Chelsea seems like the final frontier, so when the permanent restaurant was opened near Marble Arch I was keen to try it out. I love Japanese food, but TBH isn’t that crazy about it – he was under the common misconception that it’s all just raw fish. I was looking forward to proving him wrong.
Styling itself as a Japanese izakaya – a drinking establishment that serves food – Kurobuta is located on a quiet residential street just off of the Edgware Road. Walking through the doors, you’re immediately met with the buzz of the open plan kitchen which has become common in a lot of new restaurant openings recently. I like this aspect of it and really enjoy watching the chefs at work.
So onto the food. First up we had beef fillet tataki with onion ponzu and garlic crisps (£11.00). When you’re eating practically raw meat, it has to be good quality and this was absolutely superb. The garlic crisps adding a nice texture to the soft beef and the onion ponzu a nice sweet/sour contrast.
BBQ pork belly in steamed buns with spicy peanut soy (£13.00) came highly recommended by friends and for me, this was my favourite dish of the day. The pork belly was cooked to utter perfection and the spicy peanut sauce was so delicious that I almost licked the bowl it came in! Spicy, sticky, sweet. Delicious.
The next dish didn’t really float our boat. BBQ Kurobuta pork ribs with honey-soy-ginger glaze (£14.00) A hefty portion of ribs that we think would’ve tasted better if it had been marinated in the glaze, but it seemed as if the sauce had just been poured over the top. Not the most exciting ribs TBH and I have ever had.
The miso grilled hot wings (£6.50) were tasty, but we would’ve preferred the skin to be crisp.
To mix things up a bit, I ordered Nasu Dengaku; sticky miso grilled aubergine with candied walnuts (£8.50). We seemed to be missing the candied walnuts, which would’ve added great texture, but it was still a lovely tasting dish.
Next we had roasted scallop with yuzu truffle egg sauce and yuzu tobiko (£13.00). This was another favourite of ours. The plump scallops were cooked just right and had a lovely meaty texture. The yuzu truffle egg sauce was like a hollandaise sauce but with a nice zing from the yuzu. We really enjoyed this dish.
Unbelievably, after all that meat I was still peckish so I ordered spicy tuna maki rolled in tempura crunchies (£8.50). The Better Half declared this his favourite dish of the day! Yep, you read that right! The person who does not like sushi enjoyed the sushi the most out of all the dishes we ordered. Pigs do fly!
When The Better Half and I visited, it was a Sunday lunch time so the atmosphere was more sedate than I’ve heard it can be. The clientele was diverse including young families, couples and groups of friends. Service was fine. Not overly engaging, but friendly enough.
Our total bill came to £120.81 which included 2 beers, 4 soft drinks, service and a charity donation. Overall I would say it was a nice afternoon out. I’m glad I got to show TBH a different side to Japanese food and that he enjoyed it because later this month we have a table booked at SushiSamba.
Until we eat again!