First opened in Dalston in 2015 by chef Brett Redman (the brains behind The Richmond in Hackney and Elliot’s in Borough Market) and creative strategist Natalie Lee-Joe, Jidori specialises in Japanese chicken yakitori skewers, a delicacy in Toyko grilled over hot coals. Before opening, Redman and Lee-Joe travelled across Asia researching the concept for Jidori. The pair opened a second site in Covent Garden in 2018, where diners can also eat its famous yakitori skewers while singing their hearts out in its karaoke dining room, combining two of Japan’s most popular pastimes in London.
Bright and vibrant, Jidori’s tiny dining space is all light woods, mirror collages and bold graphic artwork that can comfortably seat around 40 diners. The cleverly designed space makes the most of its small dimensions with floor-to-ceiling folding doors and mirrored walls making it feel light and airy. The vibe is casual and fun but the dining room you walk into is just one of many coves created in this four storey dining space – a maze of drinking dens, yakitori-yas and a karaoke dining space set over four floors.
Jidori is named after a special breed of chicken from Japan and is known for using every part in its Yakitori skewers (although the team orders fresh free-range chickens from Yorkshire for its restaurants), which are divided on the menu into hearts, thighs, liver and wing. We ordered the Momo – succulent pieces of charcoal grilled chicken thigh with miso and coriander, the Tsukune – a heavenly minced chicken stick accompanied by an egg yolk for dipping, and Nasu – the veggie aubergine and miso glaze option. Each was as moreish and sumptuous as the next served with a side of sushi rice with sesame seeds and Onsen egg, togarashi and tare. But the highlight for Brummell came before the yakitori in the form of the restaurant’s Katsu curry scotch egg – a crispy on the outside soft and gooey on the inside savoury wonder we will definitely be ordering again. To finish the ginger ice cream, miso caramel, sweet potato crisps and black sesame seeds was uniquely delicious and a refreshing change from our usual go-to of chocolate for dessert (there is a vegan chocolate sorbet on the menu at Jidori’s Dalston outpost). It’s clear anything you order here is going to taste good; each dish is carefully considered, unique and delicious. Luckily the same attention has been paid to the cocktails. The yuzu gin fizz was the ideal refresher between courses and the tomu margarita was a real treat.
Dinner for two (based on sharing six dishes) with cocktails is around £60
The perfect spot for a quick and delicious dinner in a vibrant and friendly space.
15 Catherine St, WC2B 5JZ; jidori.co.uk