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Square Meal Review of Kurobuta Marble Arch ?

SquareMeal Review

It was a long time coming, but chef Scott Hallsworth has scored a blinder with Kurobuta, combining the modern Japanese-style food of his former employer Nobu with an easy-going, upbeat vibe that’s buoyed up by noisy acoustics, sociable seating and likeable Aussie staff. Four plates should suffice from a menu split into categories such as ‘snack’, ‘robata bbq’ and ‘junk food Japan’; the best things we ate were soft-shell crab tempura maki (the sushi rice gently warm, the crab softly crunchy) and buns filled with pork belly imbued with charcoal smoke. Humble edamame are elevated to new heights of addictiveness through a dressing of saké, lemon butter and Maldon salt, while special mention should go to the irresistible dipping sauces – kimchi mayo, spicy peanut soy and so on. Flavours aren’t for the faint-hearted, and a couple of the dishes we tried (sticky miso-grilled aubergine with candied walnuts, for example) were just too sweet. But this a restaurant that cries out for return visits – at prices that are more or less affordable. There are breakfasts, pastries and teas, plus saké cocktails and New World wines too.


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  1. A couple of weeks ago Mr Silver and I visited Sticks 'n Sushi which ticks the boxes in terms of value for money, quality and fun factor. You can read about our experience here.

    When I read about Kurobuta on The Londoner's blog, it seemed like we'd found another candidate in our search for an everyday Japanese eatery.

    A pop-up restaurant, located at 251 King's Road, I warned Mr Silver it would be more shabby-chic than sexy, sleek.

    The interior was rustic, wooden and welcoming with a huge open kitchen at the back. The open kitchen now seems common at most restaurants I visit and I love...
    More from SilverSpoon London »

  1. Kurobuta means “Black Berkshire(?) Pig” in Japanese and started life as a pop-up on Kings Road back in 2013. The pedigree behind this place is high. The restaurant is the brainchild of an Aussie (bear with me here) Scott Hallsworth, the former head chef of Nobu. The pop-up has been converted into two permanent restaurants, one in Chelsea, the other in Marble Arch. I haven’t been to the pop-up but hear that the design of the restaurant is similar. Rock’n’roll tunes blare out over the sound systems, wooden tables with chairs that I would associate more with a Scandinavian restaurant. Lunch for two was a happy affair....
    More from Life's Indulgences »

  1. Published : Tuesday, 1 July 2014

    The Little Brown Book :: Kurobuta

    A New JapanA new twist on the Japanese cuisine we know and love, the second branch of Kurobuta sits around the corner from Marble Arch and serves up its food in a street style 'pubby' atmosphere. Here you will find the kind of menu which is best navigated with a ‘close your eyes and point’ approach. Sharing dishes arrive as they’re ready, with bite sized pieces bursting to the brim with flavour. I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but a combination of Flesh & Buns, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, The Magazine, Hakkasan and generally feeling the need for sushi at all times of the day has confirmed that this it is...
    More from The Little Brown Book »

  1. Restaurant rave: Absolutely riveting food from Scott Hallsworth and team at Kurobuta London (Marble Arch).

    Much raved about, Kurobuta has been on my wish list for some time now. The pop-up in Chelsea is still running but fellow mummy, ‘the blonde’, and I took our lunatic toddlers on a lunch mission to the recently opened marble arch restaurant (following a morning of musical adventures at nearby Wigmore Hall).

    Service is swift and endearingly friendly (Basketball-clad guy was a star), even with a floor full of rice cakes and raisins under our mischievous little ones, they seemed happy to have us,...
    More from Mitziesbubble »

  1. Published : Tuesday, 4 March 2014

    S.W. Foodie :: Kurobuta - Chelsea

    Kurobuta… Finally! Chelsea has a trendy little restaurant that seems more perfectly placed in the likes of Brixton Village or over in Shoreditch, than in the ‘quieter’ section of the King’s Rd. The issue with this is that it was near impossible to get into… until Kurobuta added another 6months onto their ‘pop up’ time frame. This makes me slightly excited that they may be staying.

    It’s a cute little place, mish-mashed tables and open bulbs hanging from the ceiling therefore oozing exactly what every pop up seems to do – Minimal on a budget. What they have done here which isn’t ideal is cram as many tables...
    More from S.W. Foodie »

  1. Published : Tuesday, 11 February 2014

    laymytable :: Kurobuta Pop-Up Chelsea

    The buzz has finally come over to the west side. Well I never! It’s always ‘Hoxton this’ and ‘Shoreditch that’ and whilst I love those places and all they have to offer, it’s nice to have something that doesn’t take me an hour and a half to get to.

    Hearing quite a bit about the Kurobuta pop-up that is currently residing on The King’s Road, soon to be a permanent feature in Marble Arch, I decided to book myself in. It was far more casual on the inside than I had anticipated; temporary looking wooden tables and flyers pinned to the walls, it had a beach-side shack vibe to it. After a chat with the nice, but...
    More from laymytable »

  1. An Edgware Road restaurant that isn’t Lebanese

    Eating at Kurobuta has, if nothing else, confirmed that I’m slowly devolving into a cantankerous old fart. Kurobuta is a modern take on the izakaya, a Japanese food pub, situated on a residential street just off Edgware Road. Originally due to open last Autumn, it was so delayed that it opened a pop-up in Chelsea that, at the time of writing, is still running.

    Kurobuta is informal, as befitting an izakaya, but its atmosphere has all the charm of a vuvuzela concert. If you’re seated at the communal tables, then be prepared for the high, backless stools...
    More from The Picky Glutton »

  1. Published : Thursday, 13 March 2014

    Agent Restauranteur :: Kurobuta – London SW3

    I promise, one of these days I will tell you about a restaurant that does your usual a la carte. I realise small plates isn’t everyone’s thing, but if you’re tempted to venture into small plates territory, do it in style, Kurobuta style.

    It’s a Japanese pop up, that looks nothing like a Japanese restaurant. Currently found on the King’s Road, though soon relocating to Marylebone, it’s bare and shabby chic setting is not exactly what you’d expect from an ex Nobu chef. But the charm, intimacy and bustle doesn’t feel awkward or temporary. It simply serves to enhance the entire evening...
    More from Agent Restauranteur »

  1. Published : Friday, 9 May 2014

    laymytable :: Kurobuta – Marble Arch

    After my review of Kurobuta’s pop up in Chelsea, the management got in touch with me to explain a few things and to thank me for my review. I was really flattered that they had read my review and that they welcomed the feedback. I was kindly given the offer to come down to their permanent location in Marble Arch, when it opened, which it now has, and enjoy an evening on them.

    I relished the opportunity to try more dishes and have a better view of their menu and of course to see the new space. Let me tell you it didn’t get voted top date spot by London Eating for nothing. It’s a vibrant, beautifully lit, fun...
    More from laymytable »

  1. Published : Saturday, 2 August 2014

    The Food Judge :: Kurobuta. It’s all a matter of taste.

    I tend not to read reviews before I eat somewhere new – I find that I’m swayed. I do want a vague sense of whether it might be snog/marry/avoid, but nothing more. I’d skimmed a lukewarm review by a blogger but avoided the heavyweights and anyway this is local, so I felt duty-bound to try it. Just in case.
    This is a fairly simple space on the ground floor of a 60s block of flats. Lights in cages, plain tables, harsh acoustics, you know the sort of thing. On the left, some tables and chairs in a conventional layout, on the right, more tables and chairs as well as high long tables, with stools. I presume that they...
    More from The Food Judge »

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