Today’s post is a real treat, courtesy of the King’s Road, Chelsea! Kurobuta is it’s name and exquisite food is their game! It’s the creation of Nobu’s former head chef, Scott Hallsworth and is easily one of the top culinary experiences that I have been lucky enough to experience, since living in the capital.
Now I’ve not been to Nobu but I understand that there was quite a fanfare when it originally opened and is a well known celebrity spotting spot. The latter being an immediate turn off! Thankfully Kurobuta packs all the punch of a Michelin star restaurant but doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is a pop-up intended as a prelude to the permanent location Scott has planned for Marble Arch. However, with an extended lease, you’ll be happy to know that it is sticking around for quite a while longer!
The interior fits the bill for an on-trend pop-up though, with it’s simplistic industrial interior and crazy filament lamps filling the ceiling. The tables are sat close to each other, creating a buzzing atmosphere, all set to a backdrop of rock and roll music. It’s a great little space, built for chilled, laid-back evenings of nattering over an array of sharing plates!
My friend Tom and I had been invited along to take a look at the newly added Japanese Junk Food sub-menu. However, once our host Alice got us sat down, she decided she’d give us the full Kurobuta experience! With such an extensive list of dishes, we decided to hand over full control to Alice and told her to present us with her favourite dishes.
We commenced the evening’s feast with Jerusalem Artichoke Chopsticks & Truffle Ponzu Dip. The chopsticks were light and delicate and the truffle dip delicious with rich kick! It was soon followed by a constant flow of well-presented small plates. One noteworthy dish that is a must for all sushi fans was the Yellowtail Sashimi with Kizami Wasabi Salsa and Yuzu-Soy. If there is one thing that you can be confident of when you hear Scott’s name, it is that your sushi is in safe hands!
One of the top dishes of the night was a beautifully presented Beef Fillet Tataki with Onion Ponzu and Garlic Crisps. A brilliant example of a simple Japanese dish that incorporates a few powerful flavours to produce an exceptional result. What’s more, the finely sliced beef fillet fell apart effortlessly in your mouth!
The Japanese Junk Food menu that we were originally here to sample consisted of a few gems that are always going to do well with punters, due to their comfort food credentials. The Wagyu Beef Sliders with Crunchy Onions, Pickled Cucumber & Unami Mayo were pretty bloody tasty, contained in a steamed burger bun too, similar to the pillowy hirata buns! A genius idea! Of course there were actual Steamed Hirata Buns too, with BBQ Pork Belly & Spicy Peanut Soy!
My favourite dish of the evening though was probably one of the less delicate dishes. The Tea Smoked Lamb with Smokey Nasu and Spicy Korean Miso, which consisted of two succulent lamb chops, covered in a smokey glaze and accompanied by a charred lime to drizzle. The meat was perfectly cooked and pulled away from the bone with ease in huge flavoursome chunks.
The final two plates were just as spectacular as the rest. One more surprising that the other though! The first was Crsipy Skin Duck Confit with Watermelon, Daikon Pickle & Spicy Peanut Soy, which delivered a fantastic flavour, just as I had imagined. However, the second dish completely surprised me! It consisted of Nasu Dengaku, a Sticky Miso Grilled Auberginie with Sesame Seeds! Now I’ve never been a fan of aubergine by that sticky miso did wonders for it. So much so that it was up there with the Tea Smoked Lamb!
If you thought the evening was over after all that though, you’d be wrong! Kurobuta’s impeccable presentation and adventurous flavour flowed throughout the main menu and continued on to the desserts. There were three dishes to try. The first a selection of Mochi ice creams, all of which are encased in an intriguing jelly skin. It came in three flavours, Coconut, Mango & Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit for those that didn’t know. Delicious and refreshing, garnished with fresh red berries.
The final two dishes were more like edible pieces of artwork than a simple dessert! One, a Pistachio Dark chocolate Mousse with Pistachio Cake, Pecans & Blackcurrant Candy.
The other, a light and refreshing Yuzu Tart with Cherry Marshmallows, Honeycomb & Matcha Buttercream Cookies! All three were equally exceptional in their own right. I could have eaten the Yuzu Tart all night though. The little additions were clever and intriguing and created a really playful dish.
However, after the final curtain came the encore! Just as we thought Kurobuta had played their last hand, Alice showed us to the bar for a masterclass in Sake! We tried the whole range that they had to offer and I was completely surprised at the flavour. I’d never tried sake before and always thought it would be quite a harsh drink. Far from it though, some were extremely smooth and pleasant on the palette! A perfect night cap and a brilliant way to close what had been a superb evening.
I can not recommend Kurobuta enough! Scott’s food was a delight to eat and each dish provided a completely different and exciting new texture or flavour. It sat you back in your seat with a huge grin and set the conversation to “broken record mode!” I don’t think I’ve ever repeated the words “Mmm that one is so good!” so often before during a taster menu! It’s a bit more expensive than your average night of dining but it’s definitely worth it for a special occasion or even a date. This is one spot that is sure to impress! Get yourselves down there as soon as possible, but book before, it’s a popular haunt!
We The Food Snobs x