The meaning of the word ‘brunch’ seems to have shifted somewhat in the last couple of years, or at least it has in London. Where once it described a late morning meal that fused together breakfast and lunch, it seems increasingly to be used for any weekend lunch menu, even if the restaurant serving it doesn’t open until noon. And there are no dishes on the menu that might reasonably be associated with the first meal of the day…
Still, that’s a matter of semantics and marketing. Whereas I’m far more interested in the delicious food and cocktails that form Chotto Matte’s newly launched Brunch Menu, which we ate and drank our way through a couple of weekends back.
Surprisingly, this was our first visit to Chotto Matte – it’s been my intention to visit since it opened nearly four years ago; I really must get better at maintaining a Restaurant Wish List rather than relying on my rather inadequate memory.
I rather liked the colourful interior full of bright yellow seating (my favourite colour) and a bright and shiny mural along the far wall. It’s an upliftingly vibrant space, and reasonably comfortable too – though be aware that tables and chairs are super low and Pete squeezed in looking for the world like an adult trying to sit at a primary school desk.
Brunch is a fixed menu affair, with the only choice being the regular or vegetarian version of the tasting menu, and which drinks option you go for. The pricing is the same for both menus, either £45 or £50 depending on which drinks option you choose.
Those drinking alcohol pay the extra £5 to choose one drink from the Cocktails, Whisky and Beer section, followed by half a bottle of prosecco, or red or white wine. The non-alcoholic option gives you your choice of three drinks from the Non-Alcoholic Cocktails list.
Pete certainly enjoyed his classic Pisco Sour followed by a half bottle of Rioja red wine.
I loved the descriptions of the non-alcoholic cocktails more than the reality, since the dominant flavour in two out of three that I tried was lemon juice; the anticipated flavours of cherries, apple and pistachio in the Virgin Cherry Sour were completely indistinguishable, as were the blackcurrant and elderflower in the Juniper Tonic. The She So Apple was the best of the three with a pleasing apple and ginger taste. I did ask for them to made with vastly reduced lemon juice and a little more sugar syrup but this met with no success.
If you like your cocktails heavy on the lemoniness though, you’ll enjoy these much more – and certainly I appreciated the intention of providing a more create menu for non-alcoholic drinkers than is usually offered, if not the execution.
On the food front though, it was all smiles, murmurs of delight and sighs of appreciation throughout the meal.
We asked for one regular tasting menu and one vegetarian, to share, so we could try a wider variety and see how the two compared.
The veggie menu starts with a salad of Paper-thin vegetables including daikon, carrot, beetroot, quinoa, physalis, lime and chia seeds. The vegetables are crunchy, colourful and generously dressed in a zingy sauce that we quickly realised was very similar to that used for the ceviche. This was a really vibrant start – both visually and on the palate.
The Ceviche included sea bass sashimi, sweet potato, Peruvian corn, coriander, chive oil and leche de tigre (tiger’s milk, the colloquial name for ceviche marinade). It was good, though I wasn’t convinced by the texture of the cubes of sweet potato against the slippery soft fish, not the extremely starchy and somewhat flavourless giant corn kernels.
Served at the same time as the ceviche and salad, the Sushi course was stunningly presented in bright red plastic bowls with a slatted wooden (or was it bamboo?) base on which the sushi was artfully displayed.
The seafood sushi platter included five pieces – Maguro (tuna), Hotategai (scallop), Sake (salmon), Hamachi (yellowtail) and Suzuki (seabass), each one utterly perfect. The rice was not fridge cold but rather a pleasant room-temperature as it should be, with a balanced flavour that pleasingly complemented the fish. And each piece of fish was garnished or dressed with sauce or herbs that helped to bring out and enhance its own flavour.
If we hadn’t already been confident (we were), this was the course that made it clear that the vegetable tasting menu was as impressive as the standard menu, with each individual piece of sushi a miniature piece of art.
The six pieces were Tamago (omelette), Nasu (aubergine), Abokado (avocado), Shitake (mushroom), Zucchini (courgette) and Yasai truffle roll. Just look at the colour of that aubergine, ad the detail within each piece.
Next came the Tempura course, Nikkei Sepia (calamari and an aji amarillo mayonnaise) and Vegetables Japoneses. Both were perfect examples of tempura – the barely-there batter light and crisp and perfectly grease-free, and the contents within cooked just right for each ingredient.
The vegetable tempura was served with a (delicious) pickled salsa which was served spooned over the tempura – for me this was a misstep as it quickly caused the tempura to become soggy where it seeped in; much better to have served it condiment style, as they did for the aji dip.
When the Robata dishes – what I’d label the Mains – came out we were a little overwhelmed; so much food, and it all looked so delicious! I don’t think it was my imagination that diners at tables to each side of us looked on a little enviously at our feast, compared to the three (double portion) dishes they were served!
From the non-veggie menu, Asado De Tira, described in the menu as ‘beef short ribs with asparagus, purple potato and teriyaki jus’. What arrived were two generous chunks of beef braised until they were fork-apart tender, served on a bed of purple mashed potato and drenched in delicious teriyaki. Wonderful!
Both menus had a miso dish, and at first glance I assumed the meat one might be the more interesting. Pollo den miso turned out to be beautifully charred skin-on pieces of chicken marinaded in miso served with carrot, daikon and a yellow chilli salsa. Very good indeed – that smokiness from the grill worked perfectly with the umami miso.
Nasu miso was one of my star dishes – the same brightly purple-skinned aubergine in a well-balanced miso marinade but lifted so far beyond the usual nasu dengaku by the addition of little cubes of soft apricot as well as puffed soba and sesame seeds.
The veggie dish in place of the beef short rib was Calabacin a la parilla – ‘chilli courgette, pickled shallots, sweet potato’. On first glance, I thought it a poor substitute for that beautifully rich and meaty dish, but actually, the courgette was so fresh it had a natural sweetness, and was cooked to retain some crunch without being too raw. The flavours were again very good and we really liked it, though I’d still say the beef short ribs edged it by a margin!
Both menus also came with a serving of Sake sautéed broccoli. The veg itself was delicious but for me the puddle yellow-lime sauce it was plated on was far too lemony sharp and sour, and I could only eat those pieces that had managed to stay clear of the sauce.
By the time desserts were served, we were pretty full and very grateful for the cute little individual portions provided. Chocolate pots were dark, rich, intense and garnished with chocolate sauces and honeycomb. Passion fruit brûlée had a nicely textured custard, the flavour of the fruit worked very well and the brûlée topping was lovely and crunchy. And the Mango mochi balls (which I think may be Little Moons) were gorgeous – smooth and delicious ice cream with the perfect chewy mochi coat – though you may be able to see that only one half was actually mango, served with a half of yuzu and two halves of matcha. All good. After all that, tea and coffee was also included (though I wish they’d had more than one Japanese tea to choose from).
It was a wonderful lunch, just the kind of indulgent affair that is perfect for a leisurely weekend feast, and we are now keener than ever to go back and try the rest of Chotto Matte’s menu. I consider it great value too, especially when you consider the drinks included, and the high quality ingredients that go into the extensive selection of dishes.
Kavey Eats dined as guests of Chotto Matte, for review purposes.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!29 Comments to "Weekend Brunch Menu at Chotto Matte, Soho"
Such beautiful food Kavey. And so much to choose from. I’ve had a Peruvian brunch a few times – no poached egg or smashed avo in sight. Love the individuality of this, and combining it with sushi too! Another place to add to the London list 🙂
Apart from the sweet drinks, this my kind of menu, Lovely! As an Indian mother, I am not supposed to praise my own children (others will do it, if you have raised them right), but you do write very well Kav :). Lovely menu, beautiful photos!
Looks like such a beautiful brunch!
I’ve never understood why central wakes up so late! I’d much prefer if the restaurants were open for proper brunch! This looks amazing though so you know what I’ll let them off! Cocktails are a must for me so I’d definitely pay the £5 extra!
Such beautifully presented food! Oh my goodness to have access to such amazing eateries – you are so lucky!
A fantastic descritpion of your brunch Kavey. The photos are wonderful, such pretty food. Sounds and tastes delicious, apart from the lemon juice of course. The dessert looks absolutely perfect. I am of course amused with the photo of Pete at the table, I imagine this is the case for quite a few people. For such a lovely selection of food and drink, I’d say the price is spot on.
well I believe I could happily eat and drink my way through that menu as well. What a meal! it looks awesome
Seems like you have enjoyed beautiful brunch and soaked all the good atmosphere.
Checking the pictures of food made me so darn hungry, I could eat a whole elephant lol..
That looks so good! Now I am hungry!
I got hungrier and hungrier as I read this. That place looks so good and it seemed like you guys had a great time! Fixed menus can be so much fun. Takes all the decision making out of it. And as a non-drinker, I do appreciate when restaurants offer a decent variety of non-alcoholic drink.
I love brunch and I’m happy to eat brunch type meals anytime of the day 😀 That sushi looks super yummy!!
This place looks amazing and I love the yellow decor they went with. And the food. Oh my goodness. I love eating the rainbow!
Wow! The food here looks phenominal! I’ve never been to London, but when I do visit I will have to schedule a brunch at Chotto Matte for sure. 😉
It looks so good! I can not say which would be my choice the vegetarian or the regular but I would most definitely stick to the sweets!!!!
Very beautifully crafted dishes, those cocktails looks very lush. Like you my restaurant wish list is very long and news ones keep coming up! I just can’t keep up! LOL
OMG – I can’t believe how beautiful these dishes are…. They are like little pieces of art! I really must try this place! Never heard about it, so thank you for sharing! Those chocolate pots are literately speaking to me! 😀
Brunch after noon? That is weird. Cute decor for sure but ha ha ha tables small indeed. The food looks amazing but the price for brunch is insane! That is what I would pay for a very good dinner in my city.
Yeah it’s not an outrageous price at all in London. Everything has different costs here from property rent to taxes and rates to staff wages to food prices. Of course you can eat much more cheaply in London but these prices are actually great for all that’s included. ??
I love a good brunch menu and this looks both unusual and delicious. We really enjoyed Chotto Matte when we reviewed, though that was some time ago
I never made it when it launched somehow so was lovely to visit now.
This place looks stunning, I also love the yellow colour scheme although those small chairs would be a problem for Dave and his gangly long legs! Aside from the disappointing cocktails, the food does look stunning, I’ll add this to my restaurant wish list now!
Yeah, the small tables are a bit odd but Pete did manage fine! It’s very good food.
Those cocktails look delicious. The food is also gorgeous, I would feel guilty about eating it 🙂
Oh I didn’t hesitate long to dive in!
I love Soho! I have never had Peruvian food before…Those plates are beautiful and delicious looking.
Worth a visit, the cross between Peruvian and Japanese is really delicious.
Wish I knew about this place when I was in Soho a few weeks ago! I’ll have to go there next time.
What a fantastic menu, so colourful and well presented on beautiful plates. Great idea to try the veggie and non-veggie menus between you.