Chotte Matte – fun times

Chotto Matte was a venue I’d wanted to try for a while so booked it to celebrate our 6th anniversary. The restaurant/bar brings together the best of Japanese and Peruvian cultures serving up Nikkei cuisine, colourful cocktails, and live music. So after a disappointing meal at Coya where I ordered the wrong dishes, I was hoping this one would be much better. And it did surpass expectations.

The location on Frith Street is huge – and as soon as you enter, your eyes are drawn to a vast, UV-illuminated mural created by Tokyo-based graffiti artist Houxo Que – incredible! The kitchen has a number of stations, including a sushi and ceviche bar as well as a Japanese Robata grill area serving barbecued dishes. There is also a bar menu of small eats (tostaditas) with a variety of toppings for those who fancy a few snacks with a drink.

We had:

  • Cone of cassava and sweet potato crisps, with an accompanying yellow tomato salsa and guacamole
  • Tostadito: Heritage tomato huacatay aburi with Kumquat, coriander cress and chive oil.
  • Donburi – an oversized bowl of cooked rice with corn, avocado, spring onion fitters, mushrooms and daikon sauce on top
  • Sautéed chilli and garlic vegetables

The food was tasty with some unique flavours – the dishes were small and tapas style. I’d recommend adding a main dish as the dishes were small and tapas style which was a shame considering the prices. I’m glad I ordered the Donburi as it was a good accompaniment to the other dishes.

Chotto Matte is quite priced but a fun place to discover some interesting cuisine in the heart of London. It’s a cool place to go with the girls – you will definitely have a good night out.

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Pizza Pilgrims – pilgrimage to the best pizzas in London

Soho is completely changing with a raft of new dining establishments that’s helping shed it’s once seedy reputation. And in the middle of Soho, cheekily opposite the Pizza Express jazz bar, you’ll find the Pizza Pilgrims first permanent restaurant. 

So where did it all start – Two brothers went on a pizza pilgrim around Italy learning how to make the perfect Neapolitan pizza and which ingredients made an authentic pizza. The knowledge they built up from visiting restaurants in Italy (predominantly Naples) was used for the launch of the brothers’ van, Pizza Pilgrims on Berwick Street. It was the talk of the town with the two owners cooking out the back of their little green Piaggio Ape especially when the street food scene hit big a few years ago. Combining this following of fans and the traditional hand-built pizza oven makes this a restaurant to try.

Pizza Pilgrim

The decor is simple, in their signature white and dark green colours. As you walk in you’ll see the staff working in the kitchen around the pizza oven. The owners built the pizza oven from scratch, including the mosaics. The walls are mostly decorated with posters from Italian movie classics. Most of the restaurant is downstairs and was bright and colourful.

The menu is simple and small, focussing on what they do best: pizza. There are a few starter dishes like olives, salad and bread but its very much all about the main event. There is a basic drinks menu with Prossecco, wines on tap and Birra Moretti beer alongside San Pellegrino. Nothing too extravagent. So how were the pizzas:

photo 2

I went for the portobello mushroom and truffle pizza. In their authentic style, the dough was soft so you could eat it easily and the toppings were delicious. I’m not really a fan of pizza bianco, because it often loses the sweetness a pizza needs, but you could taste the truffle oil. I did add some chilli oil to give it some added flavour. The base tasted fresh with a crispy but not too crunchy crust. Apparently the flour is shipped in from Naples don’t you know. I did like the look of the artichoke and mozzarella pizza which had tomato in it – will have to try that next time.

We didn’t go for dessert as the pizzas were really heavy but I was intrigued by the options – nutella ring, ice cream with olive oil and salt, blood orange sorbets and ice cream from Gelupo. I did want to try the affogato however they didn’t make it with decaf so wasn’t going to risk a night of no sleep! Maybe a dessert for the next visit.

Outside of Naples, I would definitely say Pizza Pilgrims do the best pizzas in London. Mamma would definitely be proud of the brothers! Yummy yummy pizza….