I think I’m finally getting closer to falling in love with the concept of brunch. Not because I’m enjoying the traditional brunch of smashed avocado on toast and poached eggs, but it’s finally becoming a meal which is feeling more like lunch. Brunch is now a meal which gives you the opportunity to drink earlier than usual, eat more food than you usually would and a good enough excuse for friends to not want to cancel on you last minute for a just coffee and a croissant.
With all my Marmite decisions of loving or hating brunch, I think I’ve officially found my new favourite and it’s served at one of Soho’s hippest restaurants – Chotto Matte. For £50pp you can expect everything you see pictured here between two people – plus half a bottle of wine each and a cocktail to start. There were no extras to pay so you can coming knowing your exact final bill and leave without that changing – unless you order more cocktails of course. My bloody mary was superb and the pisco sour was shaken to perfection.
First out was a large colourful bowl of ceviche. Thin slices of soft sea bass sashimi, sweet potato, Peruvian corn, vivid green chive oil, sprigs of coriander and leche de tigre (tiger’s milk). Such a stunning dish to look at visually and flavour wise it was just as impressive. Fresh, zesty and mouth-watering. The perfect thing to be eating while sitting out on the terrace with a glass of wine whilst busy Soho passes your table.
Next to arrive was a rather impressive and may I add very generous selection of sushi. Beautiful Maguro tuna served on plain sushi rice to show off all its freshness and quality. Sliced hotategai scallop (aka extra-large scallops), sake salmon with dollops of creamy sauce, hamachi yellowtail with spicy sauce and my favourite – Suzuki seabass topped with a line of truffle mayo. Everything was so fresh, the textures of each were fantastic and the flavour combinations all worked perfectly. I was very impressed.
I really did love every single thing we ate here at Chotto Matte, but two dishes in particular really got me excited and convinced me why I need to return. Simply put the Nikkei Sepia (deep-fried calamari) with aji amarillo – was absolutely delicious. The squid was cooked to perfection and the seasoning nice and spicy. Equally as satisfying was the chicken from the robata grill. Marinated with miso and served with shaved carrots, daikon, and a yellow chili salsa. Words can’t describe just how moist the meat was and still coated in lovely blackened crisp edges.
Other dishes from the robata grill was this beef short rib with asparagus, purple potatoes and teriyaki jus. It could have been a little hotter when it arrived if I’m completely honest, but the flavour was spot on and the meat was so tender it was falling apart in front of us. The side of sake sautéed broccoli was perfect for mopping up the leftover juices and packed a good flavour on its own.
Portions are so generous we were quite full by the time we got to dessert, but of course all in the name of research – we devoured every last bite. Rich and decadent chocolate pots, sweet passion fruit brulee’s and refreshing mango mochi balls. The perfect ending to our long and slightly boozy brunch which finished with a quick coffee and pot of tea. Both included in the set price.
I absolutely loved Chotto Matte and really don’t know why I’ve left it so long until visiting. While I’m still yet to try the full a la carte offering, this brunch was a fantastic introduction to the cooking from executive chef Jordan Sclare which really showed off the skills and creative flare needed to create what in my opinion is one of London’s best brunches. At £50 per person including more food and booze than you’ll need this is great value too. I can’t wait to return.
NB: My meal was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight.