squaremeal.co.uk | 41
Dud dishes are rare, and favourites many: soft folds of beef tataki
dressed with an assertive onion ponzu and scattered with garlic
crisps; sweetly avoured, grease-free baby shrimp tempura that
you could munch as easily as popcorn; aubergine grilled almost
to melting point and bound together by a sticky miso sauce;
barbecued pork belly, slow-cooked and richly fatty, sandwiched
in a steamed bun and dribbled with a spicy peanut soy that eats
like a smear of oriental peanut butter.
The avours might be big, but they're also carefully controlled and
overlaid with unexpected but tantalising extras. Tuna sashimi pizza
(more like a crisp, at taco) with true ponzu, red onions and hot
green chillis is a riotous party on a plate - especially when it arrives
with an unadvertised topping of wasabi-avoured ying �sh roe.
We can't help feeling that if Kurobuta were in East London rather
than Chelsea, it would be garlanded with awards by now, and the
fact that it's very SW3 (the Made in Chelsea cast are regulars) may be
o-putting to some sensibilities. There's also a marked mismatch
between the punk aesthetic and the prices: dishes in sharing-plate
portions come with main-course price tags.
But Kurobuta is that holy
grail of a restaurant experience
- a venue that can become a
badge of honour as you keenly
recommend it to friends who
return with glowing reports.
Hallsworth has more Kurobutas planned for London and is opening in
Dubai this autumn - the word certainly deserves to go global on this
very worthy winner of our BMW Best New Restaurant award.
KEY TO REVIEWS Prices are based on a two-course dinner (starter and main)
for one, including half a bottle of house wine, coffee, cover charge, service and
vegetables. Square Meal stars are awarded to favourite restaurants based on
the overall experience. Two and three stars are given (more selectively) to places
that truly capture the zeitgeist and bear comparison with the best in the world.
THE LAST WORD Exciting �avours from the East get the rock 'n' roll treatment for a thrilling
dining experience - just remember to bring your earplugs
Lending support to a decent range of
Japanese whiskies and craft beers, this
short wine selection favours France, with
a few bottles from Spain, Italy and the
New World. Sadly mark-ups are high and
a confusing layout complicates choosing.
BEST BUY Bodegas y Vinedos Mon�l
Garnacha 2013, Carinena, Spain, £25.