Kurobuta Marble Arch

Japanese·
££££
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Kurobuta Marble Arch
Kurobuta Marble Arch
Kurobuta Marble Arch
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SquareMeal Review of Kurobuta Marble Arch

Kurobuta first burst onto the London restaurant scene in 2014 as a pop up on the King’s Road in Chelsea, led by Aussie chef Scott Hallsworth. It proved an instant hit and soon opened a permanent site in the area, followed by a sibling site in Marble Arch.

Fast forward to the present day and Hallsworth has long since departed the business and the Chelsea site is closed. The Marble Arch outpost is still up and running though, having recently been acquired by the Enhanced Hospitality group. Once inside, you’ll find a smart Japanese-inspired dining room featuring bare wooden tables, a partially open kitchen and fun wallpaper depicting scenes that look like they’ve been ripped straight from Manga comics.

Kurobuta’s menu takes its cue from Japan’s famous rock ‘n’ roll izakayas, where small plates and drinks add some pep to the evening. The flavours here are bold and in-your-face, and while the menu offers riffs on familiar sushi, maki and tempura, it also includes some less conventional takes on Japanese ‘junk’ food, such as a ‘pizza’ which is served on a base similar in crunch to taco shells and topped with fresh tuna sashimi, an earthy truffle ponzu and bursts of tokibo.

Other top orders include the addictive Kuro fried chicken which is paired with a kimchi mayonnaise rich with umami flavour, while BBQ pork belly bao buns are delightfully messy, slicked with a sticky peanut soy sauce. We were less impressed by sushi rolls filled with soft shell crab tempura, which lacked the inherent sweetness of the crab. Puddings pulled things back though, thanks to a trio of refreshing, creamy mochi balls (raspberry, mango, coconut) drizzled with a raspberry coulis.

As far as the drinks list, classic cocktails are all present and accounted for, but it would be remiss not to try one of the Japanese-inspired sips, such as the Cherry Blossom: Prosecco topped up with cherry and lychee liqueurs. Kurobuta is also decent value for this part of town, while the set lunch menu (three courses for £15.95) is a particular steal.

Kurobuta is a boisterous and bold take on Japan’s Izakaya bars. Sure, it’s not the most authentic brand of Japanese fare (that’s not really the point), but it sure is a lot of fun.

Good to know

Eat Out to Help Out Participating Restaurant
Eat Out to Help Out Participating Restaurant
Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Japanese
Eat at Home
Takeaway service
Ambience
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
People
Dates, Group dining [8+]
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for Kurobuta Marble Arch

17-20 Kendal Street, Marble Arch, London, W2 2AW

020 3475 4158

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-23:00
Wed 12:00-23:00
Thu 12:00-23:00
Fri 12:00-23:00
Sat 12:00-23:00
Sun 12:00-23:00

Reviews of Kurobuta Marble Arch

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8 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Piglet

Modern Japanese
11 July 2016  
I’ve eaten at the Harvey Nicks branch a number of times, although this branch is much closer to where I live, however, it is in a very strange location on the other side of the Edgware Road and in a very residential area, you wouldn’t stumble across it easily. We had a variety of dishes (mostly the same as we do at HN), but tried the miso chicken on the waitresses recommendation as it exclusive to this branch – to be honest, I wasn’t very impressed, it was pretty bland, but the rest of the sushi, pork belly buns with spicy peanut sauce (I can’t get enough of these), shrimp tempura, dragon rolls etc were well executed and delicious. We were there on a Saturday night and the music was loud and the diners a mix of tourists, groups, families and couples of all ages. Good cocktails and small but good wine list. I like Kurobuta a lot, but I think I prefer the one at Harvey Nicks.
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Sarah E

Dangerous Boozy Brunch!
13 June 2016  
I dined here with a friend for their popular £35 bottomless brunch - I'd seen a lot of retweets about it and it looked fun....it didn't disappoint on the fun aspect! To call a spade a spade, t's a nice buffet. The restaurant was busy but we didn't find ourselves awkwardly q'ing, we just drank some more booze until it was quiet enough to go up and help ourselves! The wine wasn't great - but it did get us good and drunk at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon! The 'buffet' is laid out quite messily, lots of handwritten notes stuck around telling you what's what....I understand that this is all part of the image but my organised brain wished it could have been a bit clearer which dish was which! My friend and I love Sushi and we loved what was on offer, and had a really good day BUT we did decide we probably wouldn't go back mainly due to 1 reason.....the portions were very small, you are able to pile your plate high...but then we found we were eating the same little things over and over again.....so after a while, although we weren't super full, we were a little bored of eating the same thing. Of course maki rolls / California rolls are generally one size, but the sashimi pizza could have been bigger or there could have been a couple more substantial items on offer to fill you up with the booze. The food was lovely, lots of options for the build your own Ramen, the sushi rolls were lovely and the staff ultra friendly. I think if I was in a larger group, I may not have noticed but just being two of us we did notice. They had a live guitarist on the day who was brilliant, great music and overall the place had a really lively atmosphere with the larger groups having lots of fun, which in turn was infectious to us!
Food & Drink
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Yulia H

16 May 2016  
Fantastic food, quick and helpful service.

Sue H

Korobuta Marble Arch
02 November 2014  
Scrummy food, charming service but for us very slow on bringing the snack choice of chargrilled endgame beans ordered while we pondered over the rest of the menu, we ordered perhaps ten or fifteen minutes later and finally the beans arrived three or four minutes before the first dish of our order - not great timing and the place was far from full - however I think this was just bad luck and not a sign of permanently bad service. So small(ish) plates of modern Japanese cuisine is how I would describe it, an informal dining room and a couple of outside tables in London W 2. Well worth a visit.
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Alex G

On-trend, if not for all
26 September 2014  
It seems that if you want to attempt to ensure success in opening a London restaurant then there is a fairly simple formula to follow: you hire a chef formerly at a prestigious restaurant (in this case, Nobu); you offer pan-Asian fusion food; you make all the dishes obligatory for sharing; and you staff the place with trendy and good-looking people. Kurobuta does all these things and while we loved the food, the atmosphere left a little more to be desired. On the negative side, the tables are spaced very closely together (so close in fact that I accidentally knocked a glass off the neighbouring table when sitting down). Moreover, if you are unlucky, you may not even get your own, since there are also ‘sharing benches’ here for the more sociably minded. The music was also ear-splittingly loud, great if you want to sit there and be cool, less if you want to have an old-fashioned conversation. When presented with the menu, we were told three dishes each would suffice, but the organisation of the menu into seven ‘themed’ sections only confused, and our somewhat impatient server did not proffer any further assistance. Perhaps it doesn’t matter since – as is also the trend these days – the dishes arrive when they are ready rather than per a set formula. While it is easy to be critical of all of the above, in fairness to Kurobuta, theirs is a very innovative take on Japanese/ Asian food and the nine dishes our group sampled were all undoubted successes. The humble edamame bean, for example, is given a make-over here, flamed and then enhanced with sake, lemon, butter and salt – superb! From the ‘junk food Japan’ section, we also loved the tuna sashimi pizza; in reality, a very thin oven-baked crust topped with raw fish and adorned with truffle, red onion and green chilli. Elsewhere, the soft-shell crab and the scallop sashimi with kimchee both pleased while the sticky miso grilled aubergine with candied walnuts left our group salivating for more. We enjoyed these dishes with two bottles of an excellent Chilean Gewurztraminer, chosen from an innovative, predominantly New World list. While not cheap (bills in these sorts of places have a nasty habit of adding up), my advice would be go for the food and learn to live with the noise.
Food & Drink
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Value

Andrew C

09 July 2014  
The food is generally excellent if a bit quirky. Love the pork belly buns and the sashimi pizza. Great for sharing. Servers are a bit overwhelmed, even on a relatively quiet Tuesday night.
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Monika S

08 July 2014  
Kurobuta Marble arch is only a hop, skip and 10 minute walk from the bottom end of oxford street, so ideally placed post shopping. Although it is nestled in a slightly less glamorous residential street in Marble Arch. As a big fan of Nobu and Roka, the new chef here (ex Nobu) was beckoning to me to sample his wares. The restaurant itself is loud, trendy and pumping with well heeled young locals, like a casual version of Hakkasan Mayfair. There are lots of sharing tables and benches and bar seats, for me now a little too casual. I know i sound old but I do like my own table, comfy seating, a bit of privacy and an audible dinner conservation. But don't be put off as the food is good, not the same level of Nobu but it certainly has the same genre. The best dish was the subtly smoked tea lamb, I am sure I was exhaling smokey lamb puffs at the end. The wagyu beef sliders were also soft and velvety and full of meaty goodness. Baby shrimp tempura was decent but not to the glory level of Nobu shrimp tempura. Duck confit was a little too crispy and a little too flabby in places. Generally, this place has something and probably is suited to trendy young things who don't mind shouting at each other. For me Nobu, Roka , Chotte matte win hands down.
Food & Drink
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Bob B

02 May 2014  
I was never overly enthusiastic about visiting Kurobuta or Kurobota or Kurabuta or whatever its called. People keep telling me about all these new restaurants which are “amazing”, “unbelievable”, “awesome”, or any other superlative which enters their mind. The reality is that dining out has never been so fashionable, and a lot of people have the misplaced belief that they are an authority to talk on food. If you're not Michel Roux, dont talk to me about the texture of the food. Don't tell me that the burger ‘crumbled in your mouth’ or that it offered a ‘subtle note’. Please refrain from remarking that the cheese ‘brought a saltiness to each bite’ and that the ‘triple cooked chips which were fluffy, yet crispy and seasoned to perfection.’ Just say whether it was nice or not. That'll do. Save the pretension. So I found myself in Kurobuta. I was seated and couldn't help but notice the lack of any Japanese staff. Don't expect an authentic Japanese dining experience. As the instagrammer ‘foodies’ tweeted and hash tagged away I set upon enjoying the non-virtual dining experience. I ordered a selection of small plates; aubergine, prawn tempura, miso chicken, artichokes, mushroom and Gorgonzola salad as well as the pork belly buns. Everything was presented beautifully and the food was certainly a pleasure to eat. Could have done with slightly larger portions though. I know what my Father would have said should he have come along. “We'll have to stop at the chip shop on the way home”. The dessert however, was by far the best plate of the evening. The small dough balls were filled with melted hazelnut chocolate and were served with a wonderful pistachio cream and thin wafers. Delightful. The bill was relatively hefty, but you can charge what you want when you used to work at Nobu and people are queuing up to instagram a picture of your food. Simple economics. I'm looking forward to people asking me; “how was Kurobuta, isn't it just amazing?” “Yea…Yea it was alright.”
Food & Drink
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Value

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