SquareMeal Review of
While the Marylebone branch of Dinings still feels like a cramped labour of love from ex-Nobu chef Tomonari Chiba, here in SW3 a glossy street-level sushi bar gives way to a sunken dining room that’s as well-groomed as the resident Chelsea clientele. It’s a striking setting for some highly accomplished modern Japanese cooking that artfully blends tradition with innovation, and oriental technique with European ingredients. Begin with sharing plates such as mini taco shells filled with lobster and jalapeño or (even better) luscious fatty tuna ahead of melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu tataki, silky double-cooked aubergine with sweet miso, and sweet-fleshed langoustine grilled on the Josper. Carbs come in the form of sushi rice wrapped around the likes of shrimp tempura, although purists may prefer the clean flavours of a simple piece of smoked eel or yellowtail nigiri. To drink, the seasonal saké list includes Dinings’ own label, and there are plans for outside seating in the courtyard behind the cobbled mews. Our only gripe is that service isn’t nearly as polished as the setting and prices demand.