DINNER & DECOR: CHOTTO MATTE
I was invited down to Soho's newish Japanese Peruvian fusion restaurant, Chotto Matte. With that mix of food styles I obviously had to see what all of the fuss was about, plus after googling the venue I saw they had a really unique interior style. Basically, there was just a whole lotta' intrigue surrounding this joint! I took along my homie Elisah to help me test the finest of their fusion cuisine with some interesting results in this month's Dinner & Decor...
The exterior is ultra modern, matte black walls with large loft style windows on the upper level and a glass fronted bottom layer that was fully opened out onto the street on the day we visited.
We were fondly greeted and led to a table just inside of the outside seating area. Of course we both delved straight into the cocktail menu. Drinking in the sun and all that (and I wondered why I had a headache later in the day.. silly girl)!
I went for the Lychee Picante and Elisah took the Moshi Moshi. We did ask our waiter (who changed a few times) what he would recommend but he didn't have much information in regards to what cocktails suited our tastes, so we just chose form the menu ourselves.
While we waited I admired the surrounding. I would describe the space as a trendy, urban eatery. Modern finishes like block black or white herringbone pattern tiles, exposed bulbs, light woods and graffiti art (not done in a tacky way). It's very contemporary and you can see the Japanese influences in the curves of some of the furniture, the fuchsia flowers and the bamboo like bar stools. The main features are a large spiral staircase which greets you upon entry and a full width graffiti piece which runs along the wall. We went in the daytime and it was really sunny so it was pretty bright, but I imagine in the evening this space would be a lot cosier.
We took a little time to peruse the menu, and asked our waiter for recommendations but again he didn't seem too knowledgeable which is a shame because I find you discover the best dishes when you let yourself be put in the hands (or tastebuds) of your server. We chose the £60 per head tasting menu, which includes 8 courses, so we knew we'd get a chance to really sample a wide selection.
Within minutes our first taster arrived, a tuna sashimi on a tortilla. There is totally a proper word for this but I can't remember it! Unfortunately Chotto Matte don't have their menu online so I am going from memory here...
Tostaditas! That's it!
Immediately the Japanese Peruvian mix became obvious. The dressing was slightly south american in flavour and really complimented the tuna sashimi. Yummy!
Next came a seabass sashimi.
It wasn't my favourite of the dishes but it was still enjoyable. I liked the addition of cherry tomatoes to give a little tang.
Then this ever so slightly seared beef. This was in a word, delicious. A warm Peruvian flavoured sauce gave a little warmth to the meat, which was extremely tender. My favourite of the dishes.
Black cod with a sweet miso sauce. My second favourite dish. Absolutely beautifully cooked, and the sweetness of the sauce melted into your mouth. I understand now what Black cod is all about!
The prawn tempura was again not my favourite and felt a little bitter at times due to the chicory. The batter was extremely light, so good for those of you watching your fried foods but personally I love a real crunch on a tempura. Not bad, just not as good as some of the previous dishes.
Next, the warm meat. These lamb chops with Peruvian chilli miso were extremely tasty, but there just wasn't enough meat for me and I found the chop a little fatty. That's generally lamb though, so I don't think that's a problem on Chotto Matte's part - plus I don't eat meat that often so I struggle with fatty bits! The flavour was beautiful, I just wish there were more!
The last of the savoury meals was a sushi selection, which arrived with a rather posh paintbrush in order to apply the soy sauce, which Elisah and I had fun playing with. The sushi was good and welcomed. Isn't it always?!
It was about this time that we ordered another round of cocktails and then I made my way for the all important bathroom check! Again I can't quite remember what we ordered as the menu isn't online, but mine was gin based. I found the cocktails to be a little basic, but still lovely nonetheless.
Ok so bathrooms. I found the stairs which feature underlit steps and lead to a neon, backlighted artwork along the wall before the bathroom. I tried to take selfies but the lighting was all off. Sad times! The stairs and artwork were a very cool look and a nice unexpected touch.
The bathroom is at the end of that stretch but it took me about 3 minutes to find it in the darkness. Idiot! You wave your hands around and the door just swoops open and leads you into the coolest toilets I've experienced yet. No joke!
At almost pitch black the room is suddenly awoken by bursts of light emitting from the three circular mirrors which sit above each wash station and only flicker on when you approach them. The mirror are cleverly positioned to give you a great view from every angle.
My photos really don't do the bathroom justice. It's almost worth visiting for them alone! I must have been in there for a good ten minutes just playing around with the fixtures. There's even a disco ball in the cubicle!
I arrived back at our table to find dessert awaiting me. I do love it when that happens.
The presentation was perfect and I loved the sugar 'glass' shard that stuck out of the cheesecake. I found the brownie a little too rich but I've never been a fan of very rich chocolate desserts. The mandarin (?!) cheesecake was yummy though, and the berry swirled ice cream was a lovely fruity addition.
Elisah and I were pretty stuffed, but I can imagine this menu may have left some of the larger bellies (ahem, boys) still craving. For £60, I think it may have a been a little on the pricey side, but some elements of these dishes would be absolutely beautiful if served as larger portions, and that might be a more affordable way to eat at Chotto Matte. Perhaps they are on the menu alone but annoyingly I can't have a look as they don't have the menu online, which I would find a little tiresome if deciding whether to visit.
Overall the presentation both in interiors and food was excellent, and the food is definitely worth trying for the unique blend of cuisines and some of the stand out dishes like the Black Cod or seared beef. I'd love if the waiters were a little more knowledgeable about the menu, but that wouldn't put me off going back. Hell, I'll be going back just to play around in those toilets again!
Elisah very eloquently summed up Chotto Matte in the following sentence...
'Unexpected flavour combinations with a cool modern interior.'
Pretty spot on I say.
RATING = 3 / 5
Have you ever visited Chotto Matte? Do you have a suggestion of where I should review next? Leave a comment below or check out my other Dinner & Decor restaurant reviews.