Bringing together inventive dishes influenced by the far side of Asia, namely Korea, Japan and Taiwan – KOJAWAN is pretty wacky and that’s the way it likes it. You’ll find this 21st century izakaya sitting pretty on the 23rd floor of the Hilton London Metropole, complete with retro-futuristic interior and Manga illustrated menus.
Organised by cooking style, ‘Booze Food’ dishes are an unusual play on fast-food classics such as crispy chicken with a hot/cold dipping sauce, hot cricket (yes, the insect!) bombs with citrus butter sauce and spicy crab dumplings.
‘Charcoal Oven’ and ‘Fire Stove’ dishes include crab and turnip or pork and green onion ‘egg cakes’ with Ibérico ham flakes; fat noodles with clams, sake and fish flakes that appear to be ‘dancing’ due to the heat; BBQ beef cheek with chilli, ginger, and tender octopus with lemon and smoked paprika.
Raw food lovers can feast on a ‘Sushi-style’ rice sandwich with spicy crab and wakamole; Suffolk wagyu tartar with pear, sea lettuce, chilli and sesame crackers; and watermelon sashimi with black radish.
Dilemma-inducing desserts include a new take on the Eton mess with lychee, green-tea meringue, whipped cream and a boozy hit of sake; ‘fish’ waffles with blueberries, black sesame and honey whiskey cream; and PanTako; a fluffy pancake with white chocolate and berries.
If you’d rather someone else decide, opt for one of the two flight meals offering a whistle-stop tour of Seoul, Tokyo and Taipei. The first is a mix of four meat and fish tasters, including black pudding with white asparagus and egg and Cobia blue tartare with Osietra Caviar. Refresh your palate with a Kirin Slurpee shot before tucking into a sampler of sweet dishes. The ‘flora-based’ flight allows vegetables to take centre stage.
Drinks move between East and West – the signature ‘K-slurpy’ is a refreshingly cold beer with a choice of frozen top from the Kirin bar. Opt for the ‘Lar-gerita’ tequila combined with beer then frozen into a slushy, or go for mango and passion fruit.
These drinks are dispatched by the knowledgeable ‘service crew’ who are on hand with their bespoke airline drinks trollies. Take a high seat at the ‘O’ bar or relax in the space-age lounge.
‘Genuinely inauthentic’ playful dining.