Last Friday (and rather peculiarly this coming Friday) we had dinner at Chotto Matte, a Japanese-Peruvian (Nikkei, for the cool folk) fusion restaurant in the heart of Soho. Chotto Matte was recommended to me by a friend, who knew of my love of sushi and my passionate search for the best Black Cod dish in London. Needless to say, I’m grateful for the recommendation.
The restaurant’s décor is far from safe; with special kudos going to the graffitied walls downstairs and the open grill upstairs. Particular attention has been paid to make the restaurant appear “edgy”, and, in my estimation, it’s a successful attempt. The restaurant does stand out when you are approaching, and it continues to keep your eyebrow raised, even down to the unusual and very dim lit toilets. The service is good, actually really good, as they do their best to accommodate my sometimes rather odd edits to a dish, and they are very friendly – from the big dude standing at the entrance to the girl taking care of the cloakroom, and to your waiter.
The menu is rather expansive, and every dish I’ve had seems to have been carefully mulled over in terms of presentation. Essentially, every dish is beautiful … but then, we are there for the flavour. Chotto Matte’s Nikkei cuisine undoubtedly has flavour, and this is where Shiima and I’s affinity for the restaurant is seeded.
We always start with the pardon peppers, which are grilled green pepper marinated with miso, and edamame beans, which are edamame beans lol. Then we get the tostaditos, which are corn tortillas topped with fresh toppings – I go for the tuna sashimi and Shiima goes for the tomato aburi. From this point, this is where we diverge and the virtues of expansive menu manifest. I do for Nikkei sushi, either the four piece or the eight piece, which is a set of individually dressed delicious nigiri (or sashimi, if you’re staying away from rice like I was last week. One of my rather odd edits. ha!), and the incredible, in taste and substantial portion size, Black Cod.
Shiima, being a loser who doesn’t eat fish, goes straight for the chicken dishes, for which there are few to choose from. She always chooses between three excellent dishes: Pollo den miso, Pollo Peruano, and Pollo nipon. For a chicken lover, you cant go wrong with either. Pollo den miso, is essentially grilled chicken thighs marinated in miso sauce. Pollo Peruano is a whole baby chicken grilled to perfection and lightly seasoned. Pollo nipon is chicken teriyaki. Pollo den miso is my favourite, because I do like my miso marinade. (Me: Baby, what’s your favourite? Shiima: (glances at me) I don’t know! Teriyaki or the miso.) 🙂
We’ve been here multiple times so, I’ve tried almost every dish on the menu. Special mention has to go to the Asado de Tira (short beef rib in teriyaki), the grilled lamb chops (obviously isn’t called that on the menu, it’ll be something exotic lol), the yuzu octopus, the Nikkei sashimi, and the tuna and yellowtail tartar.
All in all, it’s a rather fun experience – really good food, artistic décor, and a friendly atmosphere. But, it is a tad expensive, maybe because we have quite a few dishes, but we don’t drink alcohol and rarely eat deserts. The bill almost always ends up more than £100, and sometimes tops off about £160.
Dress Code: Smart Casual (although trainers are allowed)
Amen’s Star Dish: Black Cod
Shiima’s Star Dish: Pollo Den Miso
Price: £50 and over
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
11-13 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4RB
Book tables at Open Table (you will need to add bank details to reserve a table)