Kurobuta opened back in 2014 to rave reviews. Grace Dent said: “I love how Kurobuta has made me think again about Japanese cuisine” whilst Giles Coran proclaimed “I ended the meal staggered, blown away as I have not been in a while”.
So with that in mind we recently headed to the Marble Arch branch to see if it’s still all it’s cracked up to be.
First things first, staff are incredibly friendly. On hearing that my guest was indeed seven months pregnant and not just fat, our waiter proceeded to tell us that he was actually expecting his first as well and wasted no time rustling her up an off-menu mocktail and a plate of sweet potato fries “because pregnant women love carbs”. I might start taking her out with me more often.
The vibe is relaxed, dark and dare we say, a little dingy, with rock music playing and a mixture of cosy wooden tables and bar stool seating.
Nowadays we’re probably more used to seeing fried chicken sat alongside sushi on a menu, but I guess back in 2014 it was pretty trailblazing. We may not be surprised by it today, but that’s not to say we didn’t devour it. Japanese restaurants used to mean noodles or sensible sushi. Now it can be Singapore fried chicken with smacked cucumber and kimchi mayo with a side of shrimp tempura dragon rolls, coated in soba ‘crunchies’ with sweet unagi sauce. Each vowed for our favourite dish of the night.
Aside from the fries, we snacked on sake soaked edamame with our cocktails and ordered a mixture of hot and cold dishes from their extensive menu. I happily obliged in eating the whole portion of beef fillet tataki (not pregnant friendly!) which came in a tart onion ponzu dressing, dotted with garlic crisps for texture. Our waiter insisted we try the tuna sashimi ‘pizza’ which as you’d imagine, was as far removed from a Neapolitan as you can imagine, but with the circular crisp cracker-like base loaded with fish, truffle ponzu and wasabi fish roe, we weren’t disappointed with our slice.
And in case you need a new reason to visit they’ve recently launched a ‘Dude Food’ bottomless brunch. For £45 a head you’ll feast on unlimited sushi, buns and hot and cold dishes alongside all the wine, prosecco and Asahi beer you can manage from the self-pour table. ‘Dude food’, in case you don’t know, is a mix of mid-south American cooking with an Asian twist. Hungover busting junk food that you’ll love regardless of your gender.
312 King’s Road, London SW3 5UH
Kurobuta Marble Arch
17-20 Kendal Street, London, W2 2AW