Our guest writer Adrienne Fung reviews the brunch at Chotto Matte, a modern restaurant located in Frith Street in the heart of Soho. Chotto Matte embraces the very best of Nikkei cuisine. From the new brunch menu, launched in August, expect pisco sours, ceviche, sushi and Japanese BBQ.
The other weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Chotto Matte for their weekend brunch with a friend. Located in the heart of Soho, Chotto Matte specializes in Nikkei cuisine, a cuisine that beautifully blends Japanese and Peruvian influences usually depicted by vibrant colors, fresh seafood, and hints of citrus, herbs, and spice.
Executive Head Chef, Jordan Sclare, previously spent 6 years at Michelin starred restaurant Nobu in London. He and Chotto Matte founder, Kurt Zdesar, went on to spend a month in Peru, eating their way through Lima and beyond. It is clear from the many dishes we tried that Chef Sclare has mastered Nikkei cuisine in technique and flavours.
The restaurant space is modern and spacious, with splashes of bright colours in the décor, including a vibrant mural alongside the back wall on the ground level. With a mix of wood, dark ceilings, and pop of light from fixtures hanging above the bar, the vibe is eclectic and trendy. A DJ plays a mix of tracks alongside brunch but unlike many other boozy brunches, the music isn’t too loud or aggressive, allowing patrons to hold a conversation. If you’re looking for a more chilled out brunch that still comes with a healthy dose of bubbly and people watching, Chotto Matte’s weekend brunch may be the perfect place.
We started out with a few cocktails to whet our appetites. I opted for the Bloody Mary (with Belvedere vodka), while my friend went for the Pisco Sour. Both cocktails were delicious and perfectly balanced. My Bloody Mary was spicy, tangy and well garnished.
Following cocktails, we were served glasses of Prosecco alongside our first course of Sea Bass Ceviche with Sweet Potato, Peruvian corn, Leche de Tigre and Chive Oil. The sea bass was extremely fresh and paired perfectly with the other citrusy and sweet components of the dish. It was a delicious and light start to the brunch.
Next came a beautiful platter of nigiri, each piece of sushi delicately assembled with complimentary sauces and garnishes, highlighting the Peruvian flavours and influence in the dish. The selection included Maguro tuna, Hotategai scallop, Sake salmon, Hamachi yellowtail and Suzuki seabass.
We then enjoyed a snack of Nikkei style Calamari with Aji Amarillo Emulsion. The tempura served as a nice transition from the lighter, raw elements we ate at the beginning of our brunch to the heartier main courses that followed.
After the tempura course, there was a 30 minute break in service before entrées were served. This gave us plenty of time to refill on Prosecco and digest the first half of the meal.
For the main dishes, we were served Asado De Tira (Beef Short Rib, Asparagus, Purple Potato, Teriyaki Jus); and Pollo Den Miso (Chicken Miso, Carrot, Daikon, Yellow Chili Salsa). All dishes were prepared on a robata grill which brought out delicious, smoky flavours.
While both the short rib and chicken dish were executed well, the short rib was our favourite of the day. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender and very well-seasoned. The side of broccoli, on the other hand, was a bit overcooked. All in all, the entrees were successful however on the meat heavy side which may not suit all diets and tastes.
In my opinion, the set menu leaves little room to customize the brunch experience. On the up side, it means having less decisions to make.
We ended our meal with a trio of desserts: chocolate mousse, passion fruit crème brûlée and mango ice cream mochi balls. We loved the mochi balls as they weren’t too sweet and had a really nice, chewy texture. The passion fruit dessert crème brûlée was also very good, with a tangy flavour and a crunchy, caramelised sugar shell.
I had a lovely time tasting the brunch at Chotto Matte and was particularly impressed by the food and service. The set menu was a long one, but it was perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon in Soho. With spacious multi-level seating, Chotto Matte’s weekend brunch is a great choice for larger parties looking for exciting cuisine in a relaxed ambience.
Chotto Matte offers a 5-course brunch menu with a cocktail and half a bottle of wine at £50 per person. Vegetarian and non-alcoholic menus are also available.
Disclaimer: Adrienne was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are her own.