Helen Down heads to this Notting Hill hotspot and finds a globetrotting menu that really works
Kuro Eatery is the new kid on the Notting Hill block that feels more at home in Hackney than a Richard Curtis movie. Accommodating just 30 covers, its laidback intimacy is squarely aimed at a well-heeled, on-trend crowd.
The Scandi-maître-d’-meets-Greek-heritage-chef-on-a-mainly-Med-menu-with-flashes-of-Asia melting pot sent my compass into a tailspin. But the gourmet globetrotting turned out to be entirely coherent.
After some sheepish Googling (Furikake? Agridulce? Caserecci? Nope. Me neither), we settled on smoked cod roe with waste sourdough crackers, and Japanese curried cauliflower with Riesling and hazelnut. Wine in curry? Has chef Andrianos Poulis(formerly of Fitzrovia’s Rovi, Hackney’s Cornerstone and local hero Mazi) lost the plot? Far from it. The Riesling cut through the sauce’s sweetness in the most delightful way. And the cod roe, served with a bright green lagoon of chive oil, was so delicate that even fish-haters would’ve happily scooped it up. The chunky flatbread with a sumptuous slab of goat’s cheese was dripping extravagantly in fermented honey that belied a chilli kick – so divine, I could’ve indulged twice over.
Our stone bass sat on an island of creamy salsify puree in a pungent sea of beef sauce. This ‘surf and turf’ twist worked wondrously by contrasting fragile fish flesh with the robustness of a peppered steak. Meanwhile, the chalkstream trout merguez was so lightly cooked, it could’ve passed for sashimi.
When something as kooky as chocolate with olive oil ice cream and Thai basil presents itself, it’d be churlish not to. Decorated with tiny basil ‘trees’, a sturdy ring of chocolate mousse housed a deep puddle of olive oil as a light and grassy alternative to cream. As a shy-of-sugar savoury fan, this hit my spot big time.
You’d be forgiven for thinking there’s an element of pretention in Kuro’s wide-reaching menu. But it hangs together so well that nothing feels forced. This does, however, leave eight-month-old Kuro with a problem: belting out imaginative dishes at this high level means it’ll need to double its covers. And sharpish.
5 Hillgate Street, London, W8 7SP
Approx £65/head + drinks & service