Every time we plan a trip out of town, I like to try and find a new place for us to eat. As much as I’m loyal to my hometown of Manchester, London really does have the edge when it comes to the restaurant scene. There is such an endless amount of choice.
With a lot of my friends living in London, Facebook is a great tool to find new openings and popular haunts… which is how I came across Chotto Matte.
I had seen the name flying around different status updates, so I had a quick glance and as I have a soft spot for great interiors, was pretty much sold on the place after seeing only a few images. Well, at least enough for me to search for it online and to find the menu.
The menu was a mix of Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, aka Nikkei – perfect! Manchester lacks good concept sushi bars, a cuisine I have grown to love and I crave all the time. So when I come across menus like Chotto Matte’s, I am literally salivating as I read.
We booked ahead for an early dinner, worried that it would start to get busy on a Saturday. The restaurant is located in the heart of Soho and is so close to the theatres, I didn’t want us to get caught up in queues of people filling their tums up on food before heading out to a show.
As we walked up to the restaurant, I realised we were dressed pretty casually and started to worry that we may feel a bit out of place. From the reviews I had read, Chotto Matte is a hotspot for the young and trendy likes of the city, but it was obviously way too late to be thinking about our attire and way too early for the young and trendy to be out having dinner!! We headed towards the lava stone reception desk (so beautiful!) and we were greeted by a very friendly maitre-d, who could’ve easily been a supermodel and didn’t flinch at our casual attire, phew! We were taken straight to our table in the sushi bar area of the restaurant.
Chotto Matte is split into six different areas over two floors. My initial attraction to the place was the design, and on seeing it, I was not disappointed. I adored the fusion of street art, open kitchen, contemporary lighting and earthy materials. It was still light outside when we arrived. The downstairs part of the restaurant has a full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, but they were still able to create an ambient atmosphere within. Such great interior design.
Our booth was right by the large mural that spans across the side of the restaurant – a nice, bright collection of manga-style street drawings. I loved the use of a glass pane in front of it, so classy! And again fabulous lighting techniques to illuminate it (I used to work in lighting hence my slight obsession in how things are lit).
Happy that we were comfortable in our seats and with the interiors pleasing me so greatly, we got onto the important bit – ordering food.
From the reviews I had read, I knew we had to try the ceviche and I was dying to indulge in anything with the word ‘sushi’. Luckily, I was not disappointed, it was all pretty good. I have tried ceviche before and never been too impressed but the dish we were served up here was YUM. I would definitely order it again.
Although I can only testify on the veg, fish and non alcoholic options we tried, again other reviews have gushed about some of the beef dishes and the cocktail bar, in particular, is a popular haunt on the weekends.
Presentation: faultless. Taste: delicious. Service: Just right.
All in all, if you are in the neighbourhood or in fact just wanting to have a nice meal out, I would totally recommend booking a table at Chotto Matte. I only wish we hadn’t just finished an afternoon tea, so we could’ve experimented with more dishes! Oh well, there’s always next time…!!
If anyone happens to have any great sushi suggestions in Manchester, I would love to know! (Means I don’t have to take a trip down South, every time to get my fill)