Delicious Japanese Nikkei Dishes at Uni, Belgravia:
Having raved about the food at Chotto Matte, it would have been churlish to turn down an invitation to visit Uni (which is apparently Japanese for Sea Urchin), in the heart of Belgravia, another restaurant offering Nikkei cuisine (Japanese/Peruvian fusion dishes). I suspect the pretty wood sculptures are reference to the name. The interior of Uni is an Andrew Martin design and has all the look of the kind of home to which I aspire.
The interior of Uni is an Andrew Martin design and has all the look of the kind of home I aspire to. Of course keeping shelving so neat and tidy is a skill that I haven’t managed to acquire yet…
There are quirky touches everywhere, like these lights made out of bottles (which can be removed and opened).
All of this rather unexpected in Belgravia – home to the blue rinse set.
What of the food though? Arriving late and in something of a panic I found Manjiri already tucking into a generous portion of spiced edamame beans and drinking green tea. More because of my tardiness, when she asked for help chosing from the menu I ducked the question and suggested we picked the set bento box lunch (which actually has a number of options within it).
The way the box works is that you pick from a selection of soups to start – in my case miso with tofu, while Manjiri had the altogether more substantial udon noodle with fishcake.
And the content of your bento box is also customised. I could enjoy miso black cod, steamed rice and japanese salad while Manjiri had fried rice and duck tataki (seared duck breast finely sliced and dressed with mirin and soy).
I was most impressed with the black cod which was buttery and flaky, just as it should be, with a piquant miso glaze.
The tempura was one of the best I’ve had, with perfectly cooked succulent king prawns in the lightest of batter.
Meanwhile the manager came over. Of course by skipping the menu we’d completely missed the range of Nikkei dishes. So, we were indulged with two of Uni’s specialities.
Firstly a tiraditos of yellow-fin. A work of art on a plate this dish is like a slightly hot cross between ceviche and sashimi. Very delicate and beautiful to look at, the flavours were explosive and the texture of the yellow-fin superb.
Salmon Tartare tacos were pretty but, after the delicate perfection of the black cod and yellowfin, actually seemed a little ‘heavy’
We then indulged in a tiny pisco sour each. I think from the expression on Manjiri’s face it’s just as well we left trying the pisco sours till toward the end of the meal or she’d never have been capable of getting home…
Then on to dessert.
For me a fruit plattter (without strawberries)
While Manjiri had a Matcha gelato.
A lovely place to lunch, I’m putting it on my list to go back again. Some of the dishes may seem a little pricey, but this place uses top quality, very fresh ingredients. And, the set menu or bento box option are really quite respectably priced at around £15 and £24 respectively.
Uni Japanese/Nikkei Restaurant
18a Ebury Street
London SW1W 0LU