May 11, 2018
Occupying the large multi-storey Soho corner space, briefly home to a not much lamented double-decker branch of Giraffe, Kurt Zdesar’s newest venture Chotto Matte is a potentially appealing mix of Japanese and Peruvian drinking and dining culture known as ‘Nikkei’. This makes sense as there’s a large Japanese population in South America and restaurants like Sushinho already exploit that connection. Pisco is also having a bit of a moment in London, though Japanese elements seem to dominate over the Peruvian here. The ground floor bar – with its views out onto Frith Street and a vast UV-illuminated mural created by Tokyo graffiti artist Houxo Que occupying one wall – serves classically inspired cocktails laced with sake or plum wine as well as a few pisco-based drinks in reference to the Peruvian side of things. Another popular if incongruous box is ticked by the use of apothecary-inspired headings in the cocktail list. Upstairs here’s an à la carte restaurant, a sushi bar and a Robata grill. The variety of options can be a bit overwhelming for the uninitiated and the menu is confusing if you’re new to this type of food (as most Londoners will be), but the drinks make a good starting point. There has been some talk of patchy, inconsistent service and high prices but it’s early days yet.
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/ChottoMatteSoho/photos/