I love Soho’s recent facelift – it’s all bright light and shiny stars in that part of London. One of the area’s most recent additions is Chotto Matte, serving Peruvian-Nikkei cuisine – a fusion I hadn’t heard of before I went, but one which I now love.
Opened in September 2013 Chotto Matte is three floors of live music, excellent food, a vast UV-illuminated mural created by Tokyo-based graffiti artist Houxo Que. I loved the mural. Sadly I couldn’t get a good picture of it as I would have interrupted other customers. It along with another mural in the downstairs toilet (hello glow in the dark teeth) really added an element of fun to the décor. When I and my friends went, it was dark and cold and there was no outdoor seating. I know Chotto Matte offers that and already I am planning to go back on the day when sitting and eating outside wouldn’t result in frostbite.
So we were seated inside on the first floor. While downstairs has a bar, upstairs has an open kitchen with seating around it. Since there were quite a few of us we had our own table. Not going to lie, I would have loved to sit around and watch the food being cooked but that it’s great for conversation is it?
As a group we were a mixture of vegetarians and non-vegetarians with some people having been to Chotto Matte before. The menu was a collection of dishes with wonderful ingredients and I left it to other’s to order for me. This isn’t something I usually do and there were two reasons why I did this, the first being I trusted their choice, and the second being that the volume of vegetarian options was so large that I was bound to like whatever I was given. There was one thing which I had to get and that was the sweet potato chips with guacamole. Other than that anything went.
And I have to say my favourite dish of the evening wasn’t something I would have normally ordered – it was a delicious salad where the vegetables – beetroot, daikon, butternut squash – had been cut into paper thinness. They had been rolled up and served with broccoli, red onions, tomatoes and physalis marinated in a very sharp and sour sauce. I absolutely loved this dish. It was so fresh and refreshing. People in my party found it slightly too sharp and would have liked something sweet to balance it but I disagree. The sharpness made it the dish of my night.
I also loved all the sauces that came with the dishes – or the ones they were all marinated in. The salad had the sharpness, and the cassava chips had a smoked and sweet aji panca dipping sauce which we all loves. As an Indian I have cassava chips all the time and these were coated in sea salt that gave it that delicious tang I love. I was too full for dessert so instead opted for a flat white coffee (my drink of the moment) but my friends decided to go for it. When their deserts came I wish I had too – especially of the passion fruit crème brulee.
While the food was delicious with nothing to complain about, service was a little slow. We had ordered dessert before our last sushi dish arrived and we had to wait a really long time for the card reader to come to our table so that we could finally pay. But since some of us hadn’t seen each other in years and we were all having a wonderful time this didn’t matter very much.
Overall I had a wonderful time in Chotto Matte and the food was delicious. I will definitely be going again.