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.
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“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.
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