Japan may be home to some of the best raw cuisine in the world…
…but its battered dishes are no small fry either.
And to prove it, the people behind everyone’s favourite Italian-Japanese fusion spot in Hackney, Angelina, have opened a new restaurant in Soho (in their own former cocktail bar, Golden Gai) dedicated to the noble art of kushikatsu. For anyone who is a little rusty on their regional Japanese cuisines, kushikatsu comes from Osaka. The world literally means ‘deep-fried skewer’, and that’s pretty much what it is – a lineup of delicious foods loaded onto a prong, and delicately crisped up.
The interiors will be familiar to anyone who’s dined at Angelina; sleek, marble-topped tables; oversized lanterns overhead and an understated, monochrome colour scheme. The lighting’s low, and the round tables make for both an intimate date spot and a good place to squeeze a group round.
The menu is inspired by the omakase format – letting the chef decide – but really taking the form of a six course tasting menu. That thread of Italo-Japanese fusion is deftly woven all the way through, introducing your tastebuds to combinations like chawanmushi (a savoury egg custard) with sausage; pickled ume plums presented alongside black winter Iberico tomatoes; and burrata topped with salty beads of salmon roe. Later in the menu, the kushikatsu begins in earnest, with chicken karaage sandwiched inside a Hokkaido milk bun and deep-fried oysters with yuzu and blackcurrant granita. At £38 a pop – plus £4 if you want an extra skewer – it’s insanely good value for such a variety of dishes and flavours.
Suggest eating here, and you definitely won’t get skewered.
NOTE: Dai Chi is open Tues-Sat from 5.15pm till late. You can find out more, and make a booking, right HERE.
Dai Chi | 16A D’Arblay Street, W1F 8EA
Where next? Take a look at the best bars in Soho.
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