In any other city, Juno might seem odd.
It is, after all, a six-seater Japanese omakase sushi counter hidden at the back of a Mexican restaurant. And there’s every chance that you won’t find another one of those, even in Japan or Mexico. But here, in this insane melting pot of cultures, the only thing that really matters is: is it any good? And we’re happy to report that Juno doesn’t just meet the mark; it clears it with the grace of a geisha leaping over a cactus.
You’ll find it deep inside Los Mochis in Notting Hill. That’s a pretty decent Mexican restaurant in its own right (and one of the best brunch spots in West London)… but you’re here for the secret restaurant-within-the-restaurant. So assuming you have a booking, you’ll be whisked up through the maze of tables to a corner at the back, where an unmarked black curtain is pulled aside to reveal the omakase bar. Then, with a sake-laced cocktail thrust into your hand, you’ll be sat at one of the six seats and the evening will begin.
There are just two chefs behind the petite counter, and they’ll introduce themselves (Leo and Han, whose respective sushi-packed CVs are laden with places like Nobu, Roka, and Zuma). Chef Leo will expound upon his love of Mexican food and the ways that he likes to take Mexican spices, particularly from Oaxaca, and integrate them into the day’s fish – which changes literally with the tides, depending on the catch from the two dayboat fishermen he works with. The menu is thus written on interchangeable wooden blocks which are shuffled around & replaced each day before being hung on the wall.
The upshot? Each night is different. But each night is also the same in that it’s an artful and fulfilling 15-course experience. Chefs Leo & Han will skilfully blowtorch this, sprinkle that, and slice the fish with millimetre precision. Some of the ingredients on offer include the likes of fresh wasabi root grated in front of you, flying ants, aged soy sauce, agave worm salt, meltingly good A4 Wagyu, cuttlefish, snow crab, and a variety of turbot that’s fed on cactus – there are more than a few stunning dishes in there. (And it’s also worth noting that the whole evening is nut-free and gluten-free too.)
To match up with all of this, you can get their sake pairing which includes a bottle brewed using melted snow from a Japanese mountain.
And even in London, that’s a little exotic.
NOTE: Juno is open now. There are two sittings each day (6pm & 8:30pm). You can find out more, and make a booking at their website right here.
Los Mochis | 2-4 Farmer St, W8 7SN
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