Yes, that’s right. A Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant… And, it was a kind of magic!
Firstly, the scene. It has a small urban-minimalist-Japanese-art-deco thing going for it and it’s quite hidden off central London’s beaten path. In fact, if you didn’t know it was there you would easily walk straight past it, as I have so many times. So, this find is really something, and it’s always nice finding a place where the staff are welcoming and not just friendly for the job but they genuinely want you to have a great experience. They can talk about the food and wine, and, if you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to pairing (like us) they’re happy to suggest.
Right, so let’s get straight into the good part—THE FOOD:
- Mazzara del Vallo Red Prawns (Perigord Truffle, Ponzu & Sea Aster) – This dish surprised me. It was nothing like what I was expected in the best way. The Prawns appeared raw like ceviche but with each mouthful instead of having the typical Prawn pop followed by that usual satisfying taste, this was something else—A creamy texture and taste with hint of citrus and spice that gave you a nice mouth coating. That’s right, creamy. My senses were confused as though the Sicilian Prawns changed molecular composition between my plate and my palette… a new sensation brilliantly delivered!
- Monfish (Spicy Miso, Asparagus & Bitter Sea Kale) – I was glad I got this (a favourite of our waiters) everything was superb. My only negative (which isn’t really negative, just a preference after the fact) is the bitter kale disrupted this tastebud meditation that was happening in my mouth beforehand. Still, nothing was wasted.
- Deconstructed Tiramisu – You can’t go wrong here, but you can do something simple well and each element was exactly that. The Gran Marnier soaked biscuit finger being semi-frozen and not soggy at the bottom was a nice touch and favourite.
Final Thoughts: For 2 people with wine, you’re most likely looking at easily £200+. Which for a good meal out in this current climate, isn’t bad. Is it worth the experience? Absolutely!! Without a doubt, and even better when shared so add this to your date-night or treat lists – edible art, a setting with character, wonderful staff – you’ll not be disappointed. It’s a win.
BIG THANKS to ITAKU, chef Ivan Simeoli and staff.