Exploring a new Soho – Chotto Matte Brunch
For those who thought that London was dead, I challenge you to visit Soho on a Friday or Saturday. Like Covent Garden, parts of the district have been pedestrianised and like Covent Garden, there’s a real buzz. That’s being helped along by restaurants like Chotto Matte who have just launched a brand new brunch menu where you can enjoy an amazing selection of dishes. The Harajuku brunch is so named after the eponymous district in Tokyo known as the centre of Japanese youth culture and fashion. A vibrant colourful part of town, it’s an apt name for Chotto Matte, the Nikkei restaurant and bar that brightened up Soho when it first opened with a stunning menu of Japanese Peruvian fusion dishes.
We arrived early, a wise move if you want a seat outside or on the terrace, and settled down to a welcome cocktail. The Harajuku Girl was the perfect Saturday pick-me-up with tangy hibiscus and chicha morada (a non-alcoholic Peruvian drink made with dried corn) laced with premium vodka and served on the rocks, garnished with an edible flower.
Brunch for everyone starts with four small plates.
BBQ Edamame seasoned with a good sprinkling of sea salt to nibble on with our cocktail were followed by a delicious Yellowtail Nikkei Sashimi with cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, coriander and yuzu truffle soy. Picture perfect, I would have happily ordered a second or maybe even a third of these.
Warm beef fillet tataki was a delicate slither of fillet beef seared and topped with passion fruit salsa and a smoked aji panca sauce that looked a bit like ketchup but tasted so much better.
Finally, spicy tuna crispy rice was a light rice cake topped with marinated tuna and Peruvian chilli.
The main part of brunch involves choosing a ‘Big Plate’ each and a side dish to go with it. For the sake of contrast, we ordered the Asado de Tira (slow-cooked BBQ beef with purple potato puree, teriyaki jus and chives). A large chunk of meat perched on top of melting potato puree was delicious but if I am honest, a little more than I needed at lunch.
Gambas a la Parrilla with aji, lima salsa and chives were a better option with a generous helping of plump prawns crying out to be eaten.
I’ve eaten the Chotto Matte Padron peppers before – they come with a miso dressing that sounds a little bizarre but is utterly delicious. By accident, we ended up with two helpings. By design and with no regrets, we scoffed the lot.
My companion’s choice of yuka frite was a new dish for me but one which I could easily develop an addiction for. Fluffy, tender cassava, coated and deep-fried and served with more of that smoked panca dip, which should definitely be bottled and sold to take home.
Dessert came in the form of a delicious platter of mini dishes. It’s an option on the main menu that shouldn’t be ignored and was the perfect way to end the meal.
The Chotto Matte Harajuku Brunch is served on Saturday afternoons from midday to 4 pm. Priced at £40 per person with food and a welcome cocktail, bottomless options include wine, sparkling wine or Asahi beer at £65 per person or Champagne and cocktails at £85 per person. With generous quantities of food and a fabulous range of options, this deserves to join my list of favourite London brunches!
11–13 Frith Street,
London, W1D 4RB
Telephone: 020 7042 7171