Since the opening of its first Soho branch in 2013, Chotto Matte has become the go-to place to taste authentic Nikkei cuisine. Originally referring to descendants of Japanese immigrants living abroad, Nikkei is today a synonym for an exquisite culinary tradition that combines Peruvian ingredients and Japanese cooking techniques. This process of elevation is undoubtedly one of the main traits of Chotto’s DNA. The global restaurant brand – after London, Miami, and Toronto – is now expanding to Doha, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The statement, however, remains the same in each location: offering an exciting dining experience in a refined yet vibrant atmosphere.
‘We are proud to expand our brand in such an elegant neighbourhood and bring the spirit of Chotto Matte to the Marylebone locals,’ Kurt Zdesar, Chotto Matte’s founder, told us.
Designed by Andy Martin Architecture, the restaurant reflects a stylish and polished soul.
Curved shapes dominate the dining area. Distorted volumes take form from organic raw materials such as Sicilian lava stone and wood. Undulating soft sitting booths outline the main room, while rounded tables gather larger groups of diners. The London-based studio opted for a series of artistic features and a lively multicoloured carpet to break the dark understatement of the space.
The menu is characterised by three main sections – Sushi Bar, Robata and Sautée – with plates arranged to be shared across the table. Dishes were served to start from the colder and lighter progressing to the hotter and more intensely flavoured, closing with sushi.
We kicked off our dinner with two options from the sashimi sections: tuna tataki and warm beef fillet tataki. Very delicate-tasting seared tuna was served on a bed of karashi su-miso and red jalapeño herb salsa. The meat dish featured smoked aji panca and passion fruit salsa. Pleasantly juicy, the beef offered smoky yet fruity notes.
We couldn’t resist trying some of the new menu additions introduced by global executive chef Jordan Sclare and head chef Begonya Sanchez, such as o-toro yaki niku. The tenderness of premium belly tuna beautifully clashes with the crunchiness of spring onion and coriander cress. It followed Argentinian red prawn truffles with truffled shiitake mushroom and spring onion – a soft and warm caress to the palate.
We then moved to the grilled choice with tentáculos de pulpo. The octopus was marinated overnight in soy and spicy yuzu sauce and served with purple potato. In a perfect balance of flavours, it exemplified the Japanese-Peruvian fusion: this was surely our personal favourite.
The food is nicely paired with a new cocktail list featuring some key ingredients from the food menu. Flying from Tokyo to Lima, we went for ikigai, a tropical blend of tequila, vermouth, mango and avocado. Coriander and Tellicherry pepper added an aromatic twist to the fruity mix.
Sharing menu starts from £85 per person. Tokyo to Lima drinks from £15.
The new Marylebone addition perfectly accomplishes Chotto’s mission. The stylish décor combined with soft lights set the scene for a classy yet sparkling night. Not to mention the restaurant staff: knowledgeable, attentive, and energetic, the service truly enhanced the delicacy of each dish.