Finally Soho, along with the rest of London, has come back to life with its perennial hustle and bustle, and thankfully with life breathed anew into this city, restaurants are thriving again. So, with a spring in our step and with gleeful anticipation, my partner and I head off to Chotto Matte on Frith Street to sample their unusual but very welcome fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine.
This large restaurant and bar is as cool as they come. It has a sleek and somewhat industrial exterior. The bar is on the ground floor, it’s full of young, glamorous clientele, as is the restaurant upstairs. Chotto Matte immediately strikes you as a trendy place to be seen in and to come to for a special occasion, and our experience here begins with a very warm welcome by one of its smart and friendly staff.
We are shown to our table, and as we look around this roomy space, we are struck by its sensory delights. Pride of place is taken by the handsome open kitchen, with its flaming robata grill and all the fantastic smells that accompany it. We see the exterior’s industrial theme is continued inside with exposed pipe work on the ceiling. This is juxtaposed by a huge brightly coloured cast glass wall panel, showing what one assumes are mythical creatures such as a Medusa-esque female with snaking green locks of hair and a third eye in the middle of her forehead. The rest of the décor consists of shades of black, mustard, natural wood and a chain mail curtain covering the large windows through which you can view aforementioned hustle and bustle.
We peruse the extensive menu and order a veritable sharing feast. Truth be known, there are so many tempting choices, we do, in fact, slightly over order, again, all in the name of professionalism (ahem), and never due to our eyes being even bigger than our lockdown bellies, of course.
We choose the yellowtail Nikkei sashimi, sea bass tempura, wagyu gyoza, snow crab croquettes, black cod aji miso, barriguita de chanchito, lomo a la parilla, and for desert, yuzu cheesecake and passion fruit crema. Yes, I know, I can assure you though, it is worth it, as every single dish is absolutely stunning!
The yellowtail sashimi, we are told, is a signature dish and we can verify it is most definitely worthy of its status as such. The fish is melt in the mouth delicious, the yuzu truffle soy is a perfect accompaniment, and the presentation with its bursts of colour is certainly pleasing to the eye.
Every dish is noteworthy, however, if we have to choose further highlights of our meal for the sake of brevity, then the wagyu gyoza is again fragrant, melt in the mouth perfection, and the black cod is delectable with the delicate flavours of the chilli miso marinade subtly shining through. The barriguita de chanchito is both as succulent and crispy as one could possibly hope pork belly to be, and the nashi pear and yellow tomato salsa set it off very well.
Both of our desserts are light, refreshing and finish our experience impeccably. All in all, we are left feeling replete with culinary satisfaction and like we have had one very special night out together. We cannot recommend Chotto Matte highly enough, so go forth, book a table ASAP, and enjoy Soho again from the comfort of this splendid restaurant. Go on… go!
11-13 Frith Street, W1D 4RB chotto-matte.com/london/