Kouzu

Belly of salmon with kizami wasabi and soy sushi nigiri, kouzu Japaense Victoria BelgraviaUpmarket Japanese in Belgravia with a sushi bar

 London’s latest Japanese restaurant boasts a collection of some of the most experienced chefs and front of house staff. The all-Japanese entourage includes Chef Kyoichi Kai of Zuma and Kyubi of The Arts Club, and Yasuhiro Komatsu of Chisou as General Manager. Kouzu sits comfortably in its Belgravia location; occupying a sensitively restored grade II listed building. If you’re not familiar with the area, google maps will send you slightly awry on this one. I confess to spending a good 20 minutes squinting at door numbers, puddle-dodging and stopping dazed commuters to try and get there. It’s an unhappy realisation to know exactly how useless I would be without the augers of my trusted technology. Utterly bereft.

As a tip, watch out for a corner building on the point of Grosvenor square (it’s a triangle, not a square – trust me, I would know) which is closest to Victoria station. This building will have a double height glass entrance, set aglow from a golden-blossom chandelier.

kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

It’s been an age since I’ve had to give anything more than a postcode. Actual directions! Thankfully that is the only medieval thing about tonight, Kouzu being a very slick operation indeed. The ground floor is home to a cocktail bar, traditional seating and a more private area behind the kitchen, whilst a spiral staircase leads you to the mezzanine floor and ‘floating’ sushi bar. At the sushi bar we are treated to an impeccable display of knife skills with precision-cut sashimi, deftly shaped nigiri, and the quiet-blistering of a blowtorch.

Sashimi platter, kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

There’s a comprehensive sushi menu featuring nigiri and ‘Aburi’ nigiri (pre-seasoned and torched, rendering soy sauce unnecessary), sashimi platters and fresh-rolled maki. My favourite is the belly of yellowtail Aburi – brushed with truffle oil and very lightly charred from the momentary heat of a direct flame. Other menu items include sticky-soft miso black cod with fennel and orange salad, and gamey sliced duck with a tang so intense that it almost tastes of liver. Not for the faint hearted.

Sea bream special

Belly of yellowtail with jalapeno and truffle oil sushi nigiri, kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

Kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

Desserts are more European than Japanese, but still capably produced. A tea-flavoured panna cotta finely balances sweet with savoury, and is thoughtfully paired with swirls of salted caramel. For a more vibrant offering try a diaphanous chocolate mousse, filled with yuzu syrup and bisected with candied orange. As lovely as these are, I still find myself pining for a few squidgy spheres of mochi, and can only hope that they are introduced in future.

Prawn tempura

Kouzu offers a sophisticated Japanese dining experience in a stylish setting with a collection of some of the finest and most proficient chefs.

Chocolate and yuzu sphere, kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

Miso black cod, kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

Yuzu sorbet, kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

Tea panna cotta, kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

Walnuts, ice cream

Tea panna cotta, kouzu Japaense Victoria Belgravia

Tube: Victoria
Address: 21 Grosvenor Gardens, Belgravia, London SW1 0JW
Tel: 020 7730 7043
Website: kouzu.co.uk
I was invited to review Kouzu

Kouzu on Urbanspoon

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