Chotto Matte is not just another restaurant with a buzzing new bar; it’s an innovative new hangout, which has been the talk of town since their colourful launch in London Fashion Week this September. This artistic and design-led hotspot has pitched up in an epic location in Frith Street Soho, bringing underground Tokyo to the streets of Soho.
Chotto Matte boasts a large open plan space with an energetic and edgy vibe; spread over 3 floors with 6 distinct areas. The glowing lights from London’s Soho can be seen on all floors as there are retractable glass walls fitted. You will immediately be consumed; Andy Martin’s striking design fuses both natural materials such as lava stone and burnt cedar with art inspired by Tokyo’s contemporary urban culture. Houxo Que, a Tokyo based painter and graffiti artist has creating a large-scale graphic illuminated by UV light that will spread across the lower hallway. The upper two floors are accented by the work of Tom Blackford – a local, London based graffiti artist who has create the first instalment of bespoke work that to adorn the upper floors.
When I arrived there was a buzzing atmosphere on street level where you can kick back to live music and DJ’s playing fresh Nu Disco and deep house beats. If weather permits then seating spreads onto the street captivating passing people as they slow their pace to see what all the fuss is about! The ground floor includes an all-embracing cocktail menu served by their -passionate mixologists; discover their Nikkei inspired Pisco, Sochu, and Sake cocktails. The bar also houses an extensive wine list that will offer up to 58 wines by the glass, carafe, and bottle – I will definitely be making this a regular stop-off!
We were booked for dinner in their dining area upstairs which has a 55-cover a-la-carte restaurant and fixed-price raw bar whereby master sushi chef Tetsuya Kato – previously chef to the Emperor of Japan –serves an ever-evolving menu of sushi and raw specialties.
Chotto Matte fuses Japanese and Peruvian cultures teasing us with high-quality Nikkei cuisine. Executive Chef Jordan Sclare has created an affordable, evolving a-la-carte menu designed to encourage a relaxed, sharing environment. My love for Peruvian-inspired dining has grown by the day this year; firstly it was Cerviche, followed by Lima in Fitzrovia, Sushi Samba and finally Coya in Piccadilly and now Chotto Matte!!! What really attracts me to the Peruvian dining experiences is the attention to details through visual representation, complimentary colours on dishes, carefully chosen textures, it’s like being in a art gallery but being able to touch and eat the art work!
On this occasion the ordering was out of our hands. We stared in awe at the fine choices of cocktails and their extensive Japanese Whisky selections- hard to find in London! We were treated to a selection of the chef’s signature dishes and delicacies! We started with the Cassava and sweet potato chips served with Yellow tomato salsa, guacamole; a delicious golden snack to accompany cocktails. A little later we started to be greeted with a steady flow of hot and cold dishes.
The chef sent us Tuna and yellowtail, a delicate and feminine dish stacked with spring onion, ginger, shiso, tomatoes, blackberry salsa and ensaladas colour. Next up was Lomo Tataki, delicious thin strips of Beef fillet carefully wrapped around rocket, tomato, chilli and sharon fruit sauce. This dish was light and divine. Definitely try their hearty Chicharroneria, Corn, green bean, avocado, spring onion fritters, daikon sauce; the yellow of the corn and the purple lilac daikon sauce made the dish bright through the use of complimentary colour!
The dishes were not just about taste but texture and beauty, in fact there was at least a minute of talk and admiration before consumption. Showing off their true skills, you must try their palette cleanser Paperthin vegetables, you almost don’t want to eat it to avoid destroying the stunning presentation of swirls and multicoloured sauces scattered strategically across the plate. After devouring these light taste bombs we moved onto the Robata Dishes of Chuleta de cordero ahumada; Lamb chops, quinoa, coriander, peruvian chilli miso and then Entáculos de pulpo; Octopus, yuzu, purple potato, peruvian chilli. Cooked to perfection, hearty and again perfectly portioned for my liking. The final presentation was the Aburi and Salmon Sushi; I have tried this once before and loved it! Here you are served your sushi with edible flowers on an emerald green plate, your sushi is flamed at the table, a performance and sensory experience not to miss!
There is a selection of fresh and seasonal deserts so you will never get bored! Rich and satisfying we engulfed a Salted caramel chocolate fondant with some outrageously heavenly wine! Chotto Matte is a huge hit for me! Having spoken to quite a few people, there have been mixed views on the prices, table planning and service. The service was a little slow to start but this is a new opening so I can brush this off and hope that is an operational quick fix; the staff were incredible passionate and uplifting! The value for money is much greater compared to the surrounding competitors of Nobu and Roka in both quality if food, location and design-Try the Nikkei tasting menus of seven courses which starts from £35. They offer Bacalao negro aji miso, that’s black cod with yellow chilli miso for the fanatics. I would be sure to put this top on your priority list either for casual cocktails or the full-dining parade!
Open daily from 1200 – 01.30am
Chotto Matte 11–13 Frith Street Soho, London, W1D 4RB