[London] Peruvian-Japanese (Nikkei) lunch at Chotto Matte, Soho

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.

The food:
#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. :joy:)

#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.

Chotto Matte
11 - 13 Frith Street, Soho
London W1D 4RB, UK
Tel: +44 20 7042 7171
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 12noon-1.30am
Sun 1pm -1.30am


The food presentation is fab though. Too bad, the food doesn’t live up to the look.

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‘Nobu-on-a-budget’!! Well, I found Nobu to be nice but not extraordinary and way too expensive. So I’m not sure about this place. I actually had lunch with a friend who says Chotto Matte is her new favourite, that it blew her away. Hmmm. It does look lovely but, agree with @naf, disappointing it doesn’t taste quite as good as it looks. Don’t go to Soho much any more anyway so I’ll cross that question mark off my list.

I’m with @naf, not worth going. I was there because a Singaporean friend wanted to meet me there - else, won’t be my choice. :grinning:

Slight tangent, if I may! Who’s been to Brat? I’m very curious about it. Also I should entice you guys out to my newest local spot - Mare Street Market (Hackney, my neighbourhood) - to try something from their open kitchen. Or to see if Bright lives up to its (P Franco) reputation.

PS slowly working through all these new reviews. YAY!