Brunch Rising in the East
Those seeking casual but mouth-watering Japanese fare for their weekend brunch should strike out in the direction of Kurobuta Chelsea
Review by Andy Barnham
Brunch has never been so popular, resulting that food lovers now have more locations and more varieties of cuisine to chew on. The traditional fry up, eggs Benedict, bagels, with or without a glass of two (mainly in the form of Prosecco)… decisions, decisions. Adding to the trend is Kurobuta, the causal setting Japanese restaurant, offering its own take on brunch, with tapas style sharing plates.
The welcome mat kicks off with a cocktail, with either a Wasabi Bloody Mary or a Mandarin Mimosa and some snacks in the form of sea salt edamame and rice crackers with avacado. For those who don’t like their food spicy don’t worry, the wasabi in the Bloody Mary is mild and for flavour, not spiciness while interestingly the edamame is served hot.
When it comes to the unlimited brunch, there are three main options of plates and Kurobuta keeps it nice and simple; buns and hot and cold. The buns include Singapore fried chicken and BBQ pork belly (the accompanying viscous and sweet peanut soy is fantastic). For fans of Asian food, Kurobuta’s buns aren’t bao style, but rather burger style; ie the buns aren’t a filled bread-like offering but rather a filling sandwiched between two halves of a bun. Traditional Japanese fair this ain’t; rather Kurobuta offers a modern fusion of ingredients with a twist. So goodbye kimchee and hello kimchee mayo! Indeed, the kimchee mayo is a real highlight and makes several appearances on the menu (it also accompanies the awesome baby shrimp tempura).
The stand outs in the hot and cold sections are the already mentioned baby shrimp tempura, the jumbo chicken wings (both ‘hot’), the salmon sashimi pizza and the spicy tuna rolled in tempura crunchies (both ‘cold’). True to form, the chicken wings are jumbo while the salmon sashimi had a repeat viewing.
The presentation throughout is excellent and foodies will have to balance the requirement to photograph the dishes versus the desire to get stuck in and taste all the delicious flavours on offer. Guests have a two hour window to get stuck into the plates and be warned, there is also a dessert platter of chocolate cake accompanied by small scoops of various mochi ice cream (blackberry, coconut and mango) at the end… if you get that far.
Reservations for unlimited brunch are at 12 noon and 2pm at £35 per person with bottomless at £45 per person.