Restaurants & Bars 4

Kikuchi, Fitzrovia, London

limster | Jun 15, 2008 02:53 PM

An picturesque name - Chrysanthemum Pond.

Excellent yakitori - supple meat, beautiful sauce (tare) - mellow, richly flavoured but not thick and sticky.

Outstanding tsukune (chicken meatballs) -- very light, spongy on the bite in, brilliant texture. Within the meatball, beautiful proportion of very fined diced carrots and (iirc) shiso. More of the wonderful tare. The fibres of the meat were very fine and short but it wasn't a smooth paste; I suspect the chicken was handchopped rather than minced through a machine.

Stir fried white asparagus with the gloss of butter. Crisp and fresh, ripping sharply on the teeth.

Fine turbot (hirame iirc) sashimi, no tough fibres, comes with microgreens that add a pleasant mild but sharp vegetal flavour and dark bands of olive-coloured wakame.

I really liked the quivering and delicate home made tofu, given a lively edge with finely minced ginger and chopped green onion.

Excellent fried smelt/shishamo, all pregnant, roe richly popping in the mouth.

A nice kushi katsu (deep fried breadcrumbed pork on a skewer) a roulade with a centre of umeshiso (pickled plum and shiso leaf), the centre sourness a good contrast to the crisp frying.

Good sushi -- firm snappy razorclam, fleshy amberjack, glistening rippy prawn with a lovely sweetness, luxuriant toro/fatty tuna. The slices of fish/seafood was thin but very well calibrated, very well balanced against the rice. The rice seemed a little more of individualized grains that the usual slightly more sticky sushi rice I've generally had. This vaguely reminded of the sushi rice at a place in SF with a strong Osaka background, where they told me that this style of rice was more typical of the region. I did notice that they had Kansai style battera on the menu, could this be a reflection of the chef's origins? Admittedly I'm a novice outside of edo-mae (Tokyo style) sushi, hope others will chime in.

Good sake, the chinese/kanji characters read "heavenly dog dance" can't remember the anglicized name, sorry. Middle of the road in terms of sweet and dry, very balanced.

A solid green tea ice cream for dessert.

On the expensive side (~£70 for all of this) but quite worth it, imho. Certainly a notch up from Donzoko in terms of quality and price. They have a £20 minimum, and the bill came with a £5 voucher for the next meal.

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