Rupert Hohwieler 17/11/22
After almost a decade of wowing diners with its graffitied cocktail bunker, colourful Nikkei cuisine and futuristic toilets, Chotto Matte Soho has been given a makeover.
It’s a bit shinier now.
The always-heaving Japanese-Peruvian restaurant and bar – from Kurt Zdesar, the man who brought Nobu to London – is creeping up to the ten-year mark of its Frith Street stay, and in order to avoid the dreaded ‘stale’ tag, took summer off this year to reinvent itself. Now it’s back, feeling fresh, looking young again and all ready for action, complete with a new look and a revamped food and drink menu.
The first thing you’ll notice (as it’s pretty bold) is the Chotto Matte’s new design. That starts on the first floor aka the lounge bar, where a huge, 3D, graffiti-esque neon wall-art installation serves as the focal point among plush booths, group-friendly nooks and tropical plants. Open for walk-ins, on weekends they have live DJs cranking up the mood… and the volume.
If that’s where you’d mix and mingle late into the night, upstairs is where you sit and eat earlier on in the night. The restaurant retains its open kitchen, complete with a new robata grill and a sushi counter where you can watch the chefs flaunt their impressive but also slightly scary knife slicing skills. The basement toilets also attract attention (for the right reasons) and the UV-illuminated mural down there needs to be seen, even if you don’t need to relieve yourself…
As for the food, the former executive chef at Nobu and Aqua Kyoto, Jordan Sclare, is still calling the shots here. Dip between the robata grill (for aji miso black cod and Amazonian barbecue salmon), and sushi and sashimi dishes like tuna tataki tartare, yellowtail with yuzu truffle soy, wagyu nigiri and spicy otoro (the belly – and most desired part – of the tuna). Brunch has also factored into the reshuffle, with a new menu including spicy prawn bao, riffs on classic breakfast tipples like the bellini and bloody Mary, and – whisper it – the option of adding-on free-flowing Champagne.
Meanwhile, bar manager Gabor Fodor has given the cocktails a proper shake-up too. He’s devised a list of ‘Tokyo to Lima’ signatures, which as you might have guessed, applies a bit of Nikkei style to the drinks. There’s a twist on a whisky sour called the Alright Den with den miso and kombu, while the Wabi-Sabi combines Roku (a premium Japanese gin) with pisco, aji inca and acacia honey. As for the status of their pisco sours? Still here and thriving.
Those will never get old…
NOTE: Chotto Matte Soho is open Mon-Fri from 12pm-1.30am, Sat from 11-1.30am and Sunday 12pm-12am. You can reserve a table online HERE.
Chotto Matte Soho | 11-13 Frith Street, W1D 4RB
What was that? A guide to the best sushi restaurants in London? Go on then…
11-13 Frith Street, Soho, Central London, W1D 4RB
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0207 042 7171
7.8 | Good
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