Dai Chi is the new Soho restaurant from the team behind Dalston’s beloved Angelina. Like Angelina the new restaurant is Japanese focused but, at Dai Chi, the menu centres on kushikatsu – deep-fried skewers that originally hail from Osaka. Like Angelina, it’s a really original and innovative take on Japanese cuisine and something London hasn’t really seen before. Also, like Angelina, wine and sake is taken extremely seriously at Dai Chi with a list curated by by Haruka Hisata, JSA sake and wine sommelier.
Dai Chi takes over a fun space on D’Arblay Street with a central reservation, dark wood floors and black marble counters and tabletops. It’s warm and inviting but sophisticated and pared back at the same time. Like Angelina, an open kitchen takes over one side of the room but Dai Chi has a secret lurking behind – a private room with a long table that overlooks the cooking space from the back.
Order the six-course omakase menu and sit back and enjoy a generous and scrumptious feast of salads, skewers and more. The menu is best enjoyed with the imaginative and clever drinks pairing, which includes both wine and sake and is matched perfectly to the rich and flavoursome food. Dai Chi is well positioned to cater for dietary requirements so while the menu comes across as quite meat heavy, with warning vegetarians and pescatarians will have as good an experience at the restaurant as their carnivorous counterparts.
Highlights from the menu include shiso, umeboshi and cucumber; hamachi with truffle soy and furikake; tuna, tare and yuzu, soft-shell crab in soft bun and ribeye with wasabi. As is traditional, the savoury part of menu finishes with a bowl of rice, egg and pickles to sait appetites before finishing with a delicious dessert of matcha ice cream with white chocolate and a citrus foam.
The omakase menu is astoundingly good value at £38 per person, the drinks pairing is an additional £35 per person.
Another breath of fresh air and originality from the Angelina team. No one else is producing restaurants and cooking with this level of originality, especially not at such an affordable price tag. Dai Chi is fun, tasty and memorable.