Chotto Matte is one of my favourite Soho restaurants. It’s original, reasonably priced and the food is always exceptional. I have previously visited for dinner (read my review here) and this second visit for Brunch did not disappoint.
Each brunch booking allows the diners (minimum of 2) a couple of cocktails and prosecco, beer or wine. There is a non-alcoholic version, as well as a vegetarian option for the meal.
This restaurant has great and colourful character but, more importantly, they have the most comfortable chairs. One needs those as it’s a restaurant in which to linger, over a meal or some nibbles and drinks. It has the best location, with easy transport links.
We started with our chosen cocktails. Mine was Chotto Matte’s most popular Pisco Sour made with Macchu pisco, lime, sugar, bitters, and egg white. This is a classic cocktail …but what is pisco? Pisco is a brandy produced in the winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. It is a distilled fermented grape juice developed by 16th century Spanish settlers. This isn’t a cocktail with exotic garnishes, paper parasols and perhaps a touch of dry ice. This is a simple glass of pale liquid with a foamy white head. But one sip will have you hooked. It’s sharp, fresh and delicious. Don’t miss this one. My guest ordered the Bloody Mary made with Belvedere vodka and Chotto Matte Bloody Mary mix that needs no explanation. It’s spicy and well worth ordering.
Plates looking almost too good to eat
The welcome drinks were, well, welcome but we were here for the food, and with high expectations. Chotto Matte presents consistently great dishes and with great care. Plates looking almost too good to eat …but we managed. The portions are generous for this brunch so come hungry!
Ceviche was the first course of tangy sea bass sashimi, sweet potato, Peruvian corn, coriander, chive oil, and leche de tigre. A striking platter of sushi followed. The fish toppings included scallops and salmon along with tuna, and garnishes that included truffle, giving the thinly-sliced fish great richness and character.
The tempura dish was calamari, with aji emulsion on the side. This is a preparation over which to fight. The calamari were crunchy from the light and well-seasoned batter. So good, they hardly needed any dipping condiment.
Next came a plate of glossy beef short rib, atop purple potato with teriyaki jus. The chunks of meat were substantial and hearty. The meat was likely cooked for hours as it was meltingly tender and flavoursome. True comfort food on a cold London day.
We could have two Sundays in each week
But there was still more food. Chicken in miso with carrot, daikon and yellow chilli salsa was the finale. Plenty of slices of mouth-wateringly moist chicken slightly charred from the grill was accompanied by a dish of vibrant sake-sautéed broccoli. That is a veggie which has endured a bad press ever since it was first considered a food. Perhaps many folks hate it as it was often served after a boil of several hours. Sweep away those soggy memories, dear reader, and trust that sake-sautéed broccoli will change your life. OK, that’s an exaggeration but this is a delightful vegetable here.
Dessert was a selection of Chotto Matte favourites: Sweet Chocolate pot, Mango mochi ice cream balls, along with refreshing Passion fruit brulée. Nothing more needed other than a nice cup of tea and a wish that we could have two Sundays in each week.
Chotto Matte has a loyal evening following, but I am sure that their Sunday Brunch will also become popular. Service is friendly and professionally attentive, the food is consistently good, the lunchtime ambiance is relaxed, and those cocktails are as good as one would expect from a bespoke Soho bar – and there you might only be offered peanuts on the side! We will return often and stay long!
Available every Saturday between 12 noon and 4pm and between 1pm and 4pm on Sundays, for a minimum of two guests.
12.00 noon to 1.30 am Monday to Saturday
1.00 pm to 12.00 midnight Sunday
11-13 Frith Street
London W1D 4RB
Phone: +44 20 7042 7171
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018