Scott Hallsworth, having more than earned his stripes as Nobu's head chef for six years, has opened an izakaya-style pop up in Clerkenwell. The site, which was originally a bank, has historically been home to pizzerias before Scott took over. The wood-fired oven, however, is being put to good use here, turning out pizzettes topped with Japanese flavours. The menu at Double Dragon, which takes its name from the Street Fighter-esque video game, is large. Each dish, however, is under £15 - a serious reduction in price compared to Hallsworth's previous restaurants. Drinks are also a big focus here, with a range of sake-based cocktails featuring alongside a range of wines, beers and spirits.
Diners at Double Dragon can kick things off with wood-fired Padron peppers or scorched edamame, served with mustard miso and sake lemon butter respectively. There are some more traditional dishes on offer here, like yellowtail sashimi with wasabi, yuzu and soy or BBQ pork belly buns with house pickles. That being said, most of the menu is playful, with unusual additions that add a bit of fun. Beef tataki here, for example, is beer-marinated and comes topped with garlic crisps, while the miso grilled aubergine comes topped with candied walnuts. Don't miss the scorched hispi cabbage, which comes laced with ponzu, beurre noisette, truffle oil and miso. And, as another playful touch, the spicy tuna maki is a roulette: one roll is spiked with extra hot sauce, and there is a shot of cucumber sake for the winner. There is a short list of punchy desserts, like lychee and gen mai cha sorbet with rose syrup.
The signature cocktail here is a blend of jasmine tea-infused gin, sake, sencha and lime, while other concoctions feature other sakes and spirits alongside flavours like ginger, green apple and apricot. There is a short but varied wine list with bottles from all over the world, Japanese whiskey from the barrel and the classic Japanese lager, Asahi.