Opened last year, Jidori isn’t new to the food scene in Covent Garden. However, the Japanese restaurant has had a swanky makeover with all-new interiors inspired by the back streets of Tokyo. The space is light and airy and, as it’s spread over four floors of a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, never feels overwhelmingly busy.
As well as the interiors, the menu has had a spruce up, too with some new dishes designed to tempt you. This includes the cheese tsukune sando – a minced beef skewer served on an open-faced slice of bread topped with cheese and yuzu kosho sauce. Wrap the bread around the beef, pull out the skewer and you’ve got yourself a mini cheeseburger!
Opting for a mix of small plates to accompany the kushiyaki and yakitori, we settled on a plate of super-fresh sashimi, which included salmon, yellowtail and tuna, a stand-out avocado and sesame salad, and the tuna tostadas. Despite being famed for its yakitori, this was probably our favourite dish of the evening. Crispy gyoza wrappers are topped with smashed avocado, delicate pieces of fish and sprinkled in yukari (a Japanese rice seasoning). Fresh and light the tostadas are packed with flavour.
Jidori’s speciality, grilled skewers, are all cooked over charcoal to give a subtle smoky flavour. We tried out the miso-glazed aubergine nasu kushiyaki, duck breast kamo kushiyaki and negima yakitori, skin-on chicken thigh and spring onion. The negima was our favourite; tender chicken thigh wrapped in crispy skin – what’s not to like!
If you’re after something sweet, Jidori have added a new dessert to the menu. A milk pudding topped with strawberries, shiso and cucumber granita. The milk pudding is a similar texture to yoghurt with a slightly tangy taste which couples nicely with sweet strawberries.
And if you still want to keep the night going, why not head down to the basement karaoke bar, which while we didn’t try out ourselves, we can attest to the levels of bass being pumped out on a trip to the toilet!
With such a central location and an express pre-theatre option, Jidori should be on your list of restaurants to visit when looking for a post-work catch up with friends.