Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

Remember my post about the little Japanese pop-up restaurant on King's Road? I said I'd be first in line to try out the new Marble Arch branch. Okay, I wasn't exactly the first, but I managed to book a table just a few days after the opening. I took my mom to Kurobuta as a surprise, crossing my fingers that she would like it as much as I do.
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London
Located at Kendal Street, it's much closer to where I live then the pop-up on King's Road, so that's a big plus. After a short walk we arrived to the brand new restaurant for dinner. Our lunch that day was rather spontaneous and really delicious (I will write about it this week - it was also Japanese!) so we only had a small appetite.
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London menu

We started with flamed edamame with sake, lemon butter and maldon salt. The sake made it really special, you can really taste/smell the malty-ness of the fermented rice. Probably the best edamame I've had in a long time, very tasty!
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

I was bummed that I didn't try the Kirin with frozen head last time, so I had half a pint to ease my curiosity. It's just like a regular beer (I love Kirin, reminds me of Japan) but the foam on top is frozen. I have no idea how they do this but I like it.. a lot. 
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

There's a perfect amount of things to choose from on the menu, which makes it kind of hard since I remembered from last time that everything was delicious. The dishes are all quite small and meant for sharing. My mom has many food allergies so there was a lot of things we couldn't take this time, like the sticky miso aubergine or the crispy duck confit with watermelon (I really want to try this!). 
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London menu

While we decided what to eat, we observed the busy open kitchen and the waiters who were running around. The kitchen is quite small and there were at least 7 chefs cooking and working together to create incredible things. 
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

In the end we decided to order two dishes as we weren't very hungry. Depending on how big the dishes are you order, I'd recommend 3 to 6 dishes to share with one other person. First, the Takikomi Gohan arrived. A rice hot pot with mushrooms, peas and wasabi tobiko (the green fish eggs on top). It's kind of like a Japanese version of risotto. 
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

The rice hot pot was amazing. Filled with creamy rice (though I don't think any cream was used in this?), all kinds of mushrooms including my favourte shii-take if I'm not mistaken and fresh peas. The wasabi tobiko was a really interesting and unexpected addition flavour-wise and added a 'fresh' touch. This was so incredibly good! One of the best risotto-type dishes I've ever tried. 

Then we also ordered the BBQ pork belly buns in steamed buns with spicy peanut soy. I quickly pulled out the cucumber (mom's allergic) because I didn't want my mom to miss out on these. She loves pork belly and I knew she would love this! You can read a full description of these heavenly buns in my previous blog post
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

Once again, a perfect mix of different flavours and textures. Ingredients you wouldn't think of putting together yourself, but when you're eating it, it all seems to make perfect sense. 
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London pork buns

Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

These two dishes were so good we savoured every single bite. I can equally recommend both!

The restaurant itself it kind of divided into two since the entrance is in the middle, which kind of 'breaks up' the atmosphere in the restaurant. I also don't see much of a resemblance to the places I saw in Japan, and apart from the food, the restaurant doesn't have a very Japanese 'feel' to it. Maybe it's because it's just me being very critical.. But I go to restaurants for the food experience after all, and that definitely deserves a 10/10
Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

Kurobuta Marble Arch | London

My mom is a very good cook so I was curious (and a little anxious) about what she would think of Kurobuta. She loved it! Just like me, she said the combination of flavours was perfect. She even said that Kurobuta is just as good as the place where we went for lunch that day (I'll write about that this week, or check my instagram if you really want to know). I think this is not the last time we come here together! 

I'd recommend trying this place out before 'the storm' comes and all tables are booked up. If you love food - and who doesn't - you must try Kurobuta! (click here for details and check my London map for the location & other favourites)

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