Japanese tapas at Kurobuta

If you’re looking for somewhere fun where you can share tasty food with friends (tapas style) and are partial to live music, I highly recommend Kurobuta. This restaurant, with branches in Chelsea and Marble Arch in London, takes inspiration from the iconic Japanese izakaya – small plates, booze and a casual setting.

I stumbled across a very good Time Out deal for 17 dishes and bottomless bubbly at Kurobuta Chelsea recently, which is a very good way to discover new restaurants! It was a challenge I was more than willing to accept – for ‘blog research purposes’, of course.

Kurobuta has a good range of light snacks and salads if you don’t want to tuck into the heavier stuff. We started off with the sweet potato and soba-ko fries with kimchee mayo and jalapeno dip and flamed edamame with sake, lemon, butter and maldon salt to start – then moved on to the nuts, grains and greens salad with honey-soy-ginger dressing and avocado and Bloody Mary crab cocktail.

If you were having a light lunch, four dishes might be enough to fill you – but we were on a big boozy eat-athon this weekend! Next came the Japanese curry short rib breads, squid kara-age, spicy lemon chicken cups and crispy filo prawns with spicy shisho mayo. These were some of my favourite dishes of the entire meal, especially the squid, which I’ll be getting again when I return to Kurobuta.

The next stage of the menu was listed as ‘the main event’ – beer-grilled rib eye steak with caramelised onion miso, chilli-sake mussels, tako-yaki octopus donuts, miso-grilled hot wings, spicy chicken kushi-yaki and grilled cauliflower (I’m fairly certain that’s what it was)! We ate everything with relish but my absolute favourite dishes from this collection was undoubtedly the rib-eye steak and miso-grilled hot wings. I guess I just really like meat…

And if that wasn’t enough to fill us (it probably was), we also got a fruit platter with mochi ice cream and sorbet!


One challenge I have when writing restaurant reviews for this blog is that I often end up listing everything I had, which I’ve definitely done today. However, when everything without exception tastes delicious and the waiters take away nothing but empty plates, that’s got to be a good sign.

Having checked out Kurobuta’s website, it looks like a few of the dishes we had were served specially for this Time Out deal we took advantage of. Even if you can’t eat everything I’ve highlighted on this blog (although you probably shouldn’t be eating 17 dishes in one sitting) you’re bound to have a good time here. The atmosphere is friendly, laid-back and the service is top-notch, even on a busy Sunday lunchtime! I’ll definitely be going back to Kurobata as it’s an ideal place for a fun, tasty meal out with mates.

In case you needed even more persuasion, the founder of Kurobuta, Scott Hallsworth, was Head Chef at Nobu! If that’s not a sign the food’s going to be delicious, I don’t know what is.


One thought on “Japanese tapas at Kurobuta

  1. Pingback: Blog’s best of 2016! | Sophie's Japan Blog

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