Chotto Matte (Frith Street): where yuzu powered on

 Photos from Andy Martin Architects
Chotto Matte can almost pass off as a night club with its swanky slick exteriors and glitzy interiors. There’s manga-style graffiti all around, dim sexy lighting fixtures (even on the staircases), an ubercool robata grill area, and an intergalactic floor that leads to the bogs. 

CM is the brainchild of Kurt Zdesar (founder of Ping Pong and director at Nobu). The restaurant focuses on Nikkei cooking, the union of Japanese and South American cuisines. This means we can expect a lot of raw food, punchy flavours (think yuzu, cilantro, lime), and a relatively healthy menu.

We ordered a few things off the menu at random selection.

The 8-piece sashimi selection (£19.75) is beautifully presented and the fish itself is gorgeous. Fresh, tender and absolutely delicious. Nothing like good produce to set off a good start to a meal.

The lomo a la parrilla (£21.95) looked incredible. This beef fillet is dressed in spicy teriyaki sauce and a pomegranate salsa.

The beef didn’t come rare as requested, but it wasn’t tough which made it tolerable. I had hoped for the teriyaki sauce to have a slight kick to it, but it was lost in the sharpness of the pomegranate salsa. This dish didn’t knock my socks off but it definitely has the potential to be awesome.

I opted for the bacalao negro aji miso (£24.95) simply because whenever this is on the menu, I am always curious if it would trump Roka’s. CM’s fish is cooked nicely but had too much sauce going on. That’s not to say it wasn’t tasty because it is, but I just prefer Roka’s.

From the anticuchera barbecue (traditional Peruvian marinade of aji panca and aji amarillo chilli, chargrilled over hot coals) we ordered the tentáculos de pulpo (£15.20). 

The amount of octopus in the dish was very generous and it was cooked ever so tenderly. It was garnished with purple potato presented in pretty little dollops and mashed. My issue is that the yuzu overpowered the dish and it threw off the subtlety of the octopus.

Our side dish of vegetales picantes a la plancha (£7.20) was strong on the yuzu, too.
Therefore a side order of arroz con verduras (£4.50) was necessary to balance all the flavours, but the overall aftertaste was still yuzu.
Chotto Matte should really pride itself in giving an aspirational vibe to its punters, with aesthetics and food presentation being top class. Service was great, contrary to word-of-mouth reviews (our waiter even suggested we download an app to give us a few bucks off but I forgot which one, as we opted out). As for the food, I find the dishes I’ve tried a bit too yuzu-laden and sometimes a bit off-balance. But that’s just my taste. I do like the ambience and would probably go back at some point for cocktails and sashimi. 

Chotto Matte
11 – 13 Frith St, London, W1D
Ave spend pp: £60
Chotto Matte Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoSquare Meal

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10 Comments

  1. 5th October 2015 / 4:49 pm

    Ahhh…it's a shame you weren't too keen on the food, I love it there!

    • 5th October 2015 / 5:30 pm

      I love the vibe, Angie – and I love the sashimi but the food we had was too citrusy for lunch! Maybe I'll try something different next time! x

  2. 5th October 2015 / 7:01 pm

    I think I need to go there for that sashimi alone, though now I am so intrigued by the bacalao both here and at Roka – can you believe I haven't been yet… oh the foodblogger shame!

    • 6th October 2015 / 8:07 am

      Connie you MUST visit Roka! Take your boy and enjoy! =)

  3. 5th October 2015 / 8:49 pm

    It's a shame you didn't enjoy it too much because the photos look insanely delicious! x

    • 6th October 2015 / 8:07 am

      They present the food ever so beautifully! I think the food has heaps of potential, they just have to tame the yuzu! (but that's just me) x

  4. 7th October 2015 / 1:06 pm

    I have yet to try to Chotto Matte but it is on the list – good to know that some of the dishes are a bit off, and nothing beats Roka 😉 Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

    • 7th October 2015 / 2:54 pm

      The place itself is nice, though! And the sashimi was spot on. Maybe the sushi's better than the grilled stuff? But the yuzu stuff definitely put me off anything sour for a while!

  5. 7th October 2015 / 3:24 pm

    YES Andrea – let's add it to our "we really have to go there" list! Really tempted by Chotto Matte I have to say, might have to give it a go soon!

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries