Kurobuta Chelsea | Japanese Fusion Restaurant
Usually when a pop up becomes permanent, it’s a good reason to visit the doctor.
In the case of Kurobuta Chelsea, it’s a good reason to visit Kurobuta Chelsea.
Because when Australian food wizard (and former head chef at Nobu) Scott Hallsworth first opened his temporary Kings Road izakaya – that’s Japanese for ‘pub’ – in 2013, he naturally assumed it would have a brilliant, but short, half life.
He was wrong.
The impermanent space was so staggeringly successful that he decided to create two actually permanent ones off the back of it, to similarly euphoric fanfare – the first in Marble Arch, and the second in (you guessed it, we hope) Chelsea. And while he’s since moved on to pastures new (in the form of Soho’s Freakscene), the Kurobuta twins remain two of the city’s most interesting spots for Japanese fusion.
The chief differences between them are:
This one is bigger. A lot bigger. Two floors, a dedicated bar area, and some private dining spaces bigger.
It’s darker, moodier, and has the feeling of a restaurant ripped out of Shoreditch and flown out West, compete with low-slung, barely glowing light bulbs, sleek neon signage, and street art-style decor.
It has a unique, 16 seat ‘keg table’, built into which are two Kirin Ichiban draught taps, and from which you can pour ice-cold Japanese beer into the frosted tankards they’ll provide (and then directly into your mouth).
They have a ‘frozen head beer’ machine that dispenses lager with a slushie-style foam top cooled to -5 degrees. Just so we’re clear, that’s a frozen beer foam slushie. On top of a beer.
It’s in Chelsea, not Marble Arch.
And the chief similarities of which are:
The food, which given that the food is what got everyone so feverishly excited in the first place, is a good thing. Expect their ‘Japanese Junk Food’ (the tuna sashimi pizza, with truffle ponzu, for instance), robata BBQ dishes (tea smoked lamb with Korean miso, anyone?), and ‘significant other’ menu fillers (order the kombu-roasted seabass, thank us later).
And the drinks. Which include barrel-aged cocktails, Japanese whiskies, and sparkling sakes.
Just like every good Japanese pub.
NOTE: Kurobuta Chelsea is open daily, noon-11pm (11.30pm Fri/Sat). You can find out more and reserve a table HERE.
Kurobuta Chelsea | 312 King’s Road, SW3 5UH
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