May 2019: Karabu, a cocktail bar with a snack menu will open within Dinings SW3 in June.
Marylebone's innovative Japanese restaurant has opened a second branch in South Kensington this May. The brand is properly international these days, with noodle bars in Tokyo and a Dinings outlet in a Tel-Aviv hotel.
Harden's survey result
“Crazy combinations, truly awesome at times” continue to wow all who taste the “meticulous” sushi and other modernised Japanese dishes at this duo of venues – an “awkward and tired-looking basement” in Marylebone (under chef Tomonari Chiba) and a “much-cooler-than-the original” setting in Knightsbridge (under chef Masaki Sugisaki). “I’ve wandered all round the menu with friends, and each bite was terrific”.
“Sublime fish” employed in “lots of new-style sushi” helps win nothing but adulation for this Japanese operation, now split between two sites – both of which deliver “exquisite” cuisine. The Marylebone original suffers from being a “cramped basement”, but the new Knightsbridge site under chef Masaki Sugisaki makes a “great addition”, with “better decor and a larger kitchen, resulting in a wider menu and a better dining experience”.
“Don’t be put off by the simplicity of the dining room” – “a noisy concrete basement” (although you can also sit at the ground floor bar): Tomonari Chiba’s sushi and other Japanese fare is “genius”, albeit “spectacularly expensive” at his original Marylebone venture of over ten years standing. In May 2017 he opened a considerably swankier offshoot in the beautiful and chichi premises vacated by Toto’s (RIP) which seem likely to become the dominant member of the duo hereafter. It features a mashup of Japanese and Western ingredients and ideas – early press reviews are mixed.
Dinings Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Excellent food, though thought the Wagyu not up to expectations (reared in the UK?). Staff very attentive, good maitre d'. Was busy on a Monday evening, so clearly doing well."
"Cocktails very poor. Slow service. Charged my credit card twice"
L noon-2.45 pm, Sun 12.30-2.45 pm; D Mon-Thu 6-9.30 pm, Fri & Sat 6-10 pm, Sun 6-9 pm
Last orders: 9.30 pm, Fri & Sat 10 pm, Sun 9 pm