Chotto Matte has been around for close to 5 years, but this was the first time I tried it. Opened by Kurt Zdesar (ex-European Director for Nobu, and who was at the opening of Nobu London in 1997), its menu is not cheap by any means, but can still be considered Nobu-on-a-budget.
I’m not too enamoured with its seating arrangements, you do feel like it’s some night-spot made into a lunch venue during the day. Chairs were either too high or too low. I’m glad I was here for lunch, as we were squeezed into a tight corner, and I risk stepping into one of the light fittings or our neighbours’ low table if I some much as cross my leg.
#1 Tostadita Morada: Beef Smoked Panca on Peruvian purple corn tortilla - smoked aji panca, shiitake, peppers, yuzu sauce (“aji panca” is the Peruvian red pepper, silly me thought it was the Japanese “aji”/horse mackerel and was expecting a kind of mackerel/beef surf-and-turf dish, not the beef jerky on black tostadas we got served. )
#2 Quinoa salad with pomegranate & nuts. I love quinoa - in a big way, but even then, this salad just seemed too bland and unimaginative. Avoid.
#3 Tentaculos de pulpo - char-grilled octopus (marinated in aji panca and aji amarillo and chili), yuzu, purple potato. Very well-marinated octopus, with just the right texture. Probably the best dish we had this lunch. Prettier to look at more than anything else, though.
#4 Chuleta de cordero ahumada - marinated and smoked lamb chops, coriander, Peruvian chili-miso. This was okay, though not served sizzling hot as I’d have preferred. Made me long for Nobu’s beef anticucho.
#5 Ojo de costilla - Angus 28-day aged rib-eye steak anticucho, butter jus. We actually ordered this after our failed lamb chop course, just to see if Chotto Matte can do a beef anticucho which can rival Nobu’s. They can’t.
Overall, a pretty “expensive” spot for so-so food. I think I’ll stick with Nobu.
11 - 13 Frith Street, Soho
London W1D 4RB, UK
Tel: +44 20 7042 7171
Sun 1pm -1.30am