Eat Here: Kazu Restaurant, FitzroviaBy Angelica Malin
Looking for a new Japanese spot in central London? I’m always on the lookout for new sushi restaurants in London. For me, sushi is really one of the best ways to eat – it’s so sociable and fun, great for a date night or a dinner with friends. If you’re looking for something special, Kazu is one of the newest Japanese restaurants to open in town to rave reviews. Here’s why you should visit:
Come here for all the high-end food in a relaxed setting. The name Kazu translates as ‘peace and harmony’ from Japanese – the restaurant seeks to create a refined, calm experience, in the centre of London. Kazu is the brainchild of chef Dham Kodituwakku – known as Kodi – who is the former Head Chef at Chisou in Mayfair. He has worked in the industry for over 30 years at some of the world’s best sushi restaurants. It’s all about the quality here – they use their skill and creativity using the highest quality ingredients ordered directly from Japan.
Kodi is known for his fresh flavours and unique style of signature sauces, which are applied to every dish. He also has a reputation for serving the best seared sushi in town, with his precise method of cutting the fish. Kazu is the place to come for Japanese innovation – expect new flavours and unique dishes, the likes of which you’ve never tried in Japanese cuisine before – in a relaxed, serene setting on Charlotte Street.
Let me tell you this: Kazu is not your everyday Japanese restaurant. Oh no. Forget your average salmon avocado rolls, lukewarm miso soup and sickly sweet nasu aubergine – everything about the food at Kazu is original, creative and utterly divine. I mean really; it’s the kind of Japanese cuisine you want to eat again and again, with such a rich depth and powerful flavours.
We started with the Gyoza, fried vegetable dumplings, with a delicious dipping sauce – they were soft, perfectly seasoned with a tasty vegetarian filling, with a nice piquancy from the umami-tasting soya dipping sauce.
We also tried the baby spinach salad with spicy salmon – the spinach salad was lightly dressed with a sesame soya dressing and given a fiery kick with some feisty chilli-infused raw salmon. The combination of the sweet sesame dressing and hot salmon is totally spot on – the perfect way to wake up the palate. Perhaps our favourite dish to start with was the sashimi salad – a mix of raw salmon, tuna and sea bream, in a wonderfully light and zingy citrus sauce. The quality of the fish here is just so good, it really speaks for itself. Their miso soup is also lovely, with just the right amount of wakame seaweed and tofu to keep it interesting.
For more substantial eats, we move onto the sushi section of the menu. This is where things start to get really interesting; they’ve got a great range of sashimi, classic rolls, Kazu creations and Usuzukuri, very thinly sliced fish, served with ponzu sauce. The Charlotte Roll is probably one of the best sushi rolls I’ve ever eaten – sure it’s a little “concept” and different to your classic sushi options, but it’s pulled off with such elegance and taste, I love it. Expect a large salmon and avocado roll, topped with tuna, yellowtail, sea bass and avocado. Dressed with yuzu miso – the most perfect, indulgent mouthful, with a real zingy flavour coming from the tart yuzu sauce (you don’t even need soya sauce and wasabi, it’s that good).
Probably the biggest highlight of the night came in the form of 2 pieces of seared salmon nigiri – so buttery, so light, so smoky, I would travel across London for a bite of there seared salmon nigiri alone.
For a final highlight of the night, we devoured a sensational black cod, served simply with a white miso paste. Again, the quality of the food really shone through – you’ve never tasted cod so buttery and delectable. All in all, the food was really incredibly good.
They’ve got a great range of sake and speciality Japanese drinks at Kazu. The staff are really happy to recommend sake to pair with your meal – and they come in 125ml glasses, so perfect for sampling alongside your food. They’ve also got a decent list of red, white and champagne wines, if sake isn’t your thing.
A real gem of a restaurant. What Kazu does really well, is putting a focus on a few simple ingredients and making them really special with their unique ability to whip up an incredible sauce to compliment the fish. Everything was totally flawless with our meal and I cannot wait to go back. If you’re looking for a special night out, Kazu is the place for you.