Although Kouzu is a relatively new addition to London’s ever-so-diverse fine dining scene, this Japanese restaurant already managed to generate quite a buzz around what it offers: some of the finest Japanese cuisine prepared by some of the finest Japanese chefs in the city.
Kouzu’s high standards are not unlike what you can expect from the best upscale restaurants in Tokyo, known for a rigorous attention to quality and details in every single aspect of their service and presentation. With over a decade of experience sourcing the best ingredients within the extremely competitive environment of the Tokyo Fish markets, Chef Kyoichi Kai (known for his work at Zuma and Arts Club) is at the head of a all-Japanese dream-team in the kitchen of this Belgravia restaurant.
The beautiful historical building that hosts the restaurant makes for a classy, yet understated environment where to experience the food. I personally preferred to sit on the second floor, home to the sushi bar, where it is possible to watch the experienced chef at work. The experience is particularly recommendable, since watching an experience Sushi chef of such a high level is kind of like assisting to an artistic performance.
I started my diner with some classics: a selection of flawlessly executed Nigiri and Sashimi, made practically on the spot before my very eyes. The Ch-toro and Sea Bass sashimi were pleasant in flavour and texture, while the eel nigiri was surprisingly delicate; enriched by a tasteful eel reduction and by the peculiar hints of Japanese pepper.
I particularly enjoy the creativity of the squid nigiri, with lemon and bottarga. The Botan Ebi Abury with salt and lemon was remarkably simple, yet exceptionally exquisite; such as the Negri Toro roll. To finish this incredible gastronomical experience, I had the chance to taste the wonderful Prawn Tempura with Ao Mori flakes: the crispiness and freshness were a perfect match to the uplifting notes of the avocado and watercress on the side.
The Yellowtail sashimi is one to watch: a modern and creative twist to some really wonderful ingredients for the chefs to work with. Japanese cuisine is all about balance: it is incredible how these experience chefs are able to create something so complex and delicate with relatively few ingredients. This is an example of high gastronomy, where the ability of the chefs who perform the cooking is as vital as the freshness and sheer quality of ingredients that they use. I wouldn’t be surprise to see this restaurant awarded with at least a Michelin star in the near future!
As an entree, I ordered the Sansho Duck: free range Duck breast, grilled with japanese Pepper sauce – a great example of masterfully executed modern Japanese cuisine. I was also pleasantly surprised to find an excellent selection of japanese beers; a perfect choice to accompany such a meal.
In conclusion, the wonderful dessert was an example of crossover between western and Japanese cuisine: a dark brown sugar dacquoise and fig buttercream with fresh fig sorbet, accompanied with a home-made sesame ice-cream.
What can I say? This dinner was an experience I’ll surely treasure for a lifetime.
21 Grosvenor Gardens, Belgravia,
London SW1 0JW, Royaume-Uni
Ph :+44 20 7730 7043
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