Reena Patel finds fine Japanese dining at Kouzu in Belgravia
There’s a major appetite for more world-class sushi and sashimi in London, and the new entry of Kouzu ticks the box. This modern Japanese restaurant sits across two floors of an impressive Grade-II listed mansion in the heart of Belgravia and is already attracting Hollywood stars, royalty and celebrities.
Within less than a minute’s walk from the iconic Goring Hotel, we reached Kouzu’s corner building and palatial double door entrance. Heading up the spiral staircase to the floating mezzanine level, we sat down at our table near the chef’s show kitchen area and omakase sushi bar. Back downstairs, accessed through the silver open-plan kitchen, there is also a secret door to a private dining room, where you can dine exclusively with your own chef.
The word ‘kouzu’ means ‘composition’ in Japanese, and this vein consciously runs through the restaurant’s offering.
As well as the food, the cocktails are concocted with high skill – try the refreshing cucumber-tini made with fresh cucumber and lime, or go off-piste and ask the mixologist to muddle your favourite tipple without any doubt.
Fresh and flavoursome traditional Asian-inspired dishes are beautifully presented using the finest Japanese ingredients so they both look good and taste great. With top chef Kyoichi Kai at the helm, we were presented with perfect plates of ‘new stream’ sashimi: delectably thin slithers of ponzu-dressed seared tuna topped with crunchy tangy apple, grated mooli and garlic chips and sliced yellowtail marinated in yuzu kosho topped with zingy grapefruit, avocado and mixed micro herbs. Classic sashimi, nigiri, makimono rolls and sushi options are also on the menu, as well as ‘new style rolls.’ Spicy California and spicy tuna are just two of our favourites.
From the hot starters section, we also tried crunchy hot pieces of prawn tempura with spicy mayonnaise and, from the charcoal grill menu, moved on to welcoming familiar mains of buttery black cod with orange cherry tomato salsa and one of the chef’s specials: sea bass with a more-ish yuzu garlic sauce and mixed vegetables.
Make sure to leave enough space for some dessert too. We recommend the landscaped parfait – a tutti-frutti iced pastel treat with flavours of matcha tea, strawberry and mango.
Kouzu – How and where?
Address: Kouzu, 21 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1 0JW, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7730 7043
By Reena Patel