The brainchild of Kurt Zdesar (founder of the Ping Pong chain), dimly lit Chotto Matte is a good fit for Soho with its discreet black facade, hard surfaces, industrial vents and bold urban graffiti. The extensive menu is a showcase for Nikkei cuisine – a Japanese/Peruvian hybrid that has become widely known through Nobu’s menus. Some fusion ideas such as tuna nigiri doused in yuzu-infused butter can misfire, although the kitchen fares better when it goes Latin – witness delicate corn and avocado fritters on a purée of purple Peruvian potatoes or punchy pork anticuchos topped with nashi pear and yellow-tomato salsa. The restaurant’s name is a Japanese colloquial phrase meaning ‘just a moment’ – although that’s no excuse for ‘awful service’. Staff mean well, but are poorly trained, with reports of ‘unsteady’ and ‘rude’ dealings. A brunch menu is available on Sundays, featuring salsa-filled sangucherias (a Peruvian take on sandwiches) or more traditional omelettes and smoked salmon, along with live jazz.
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