17 Half Moon Street,
London W1J 7BE
Tel. 0207 499 4208
Food type: Japanese
Food rating: 3/10
Nearest tube: Green Park
As J wanted to dine at a Japanese restaurant (and I have thus far not been convinced with Japanese restaurants in London) I began scouring the internet and the forums of eGullet for a suitable place. I wanted to avoid Michelin places like Umu and Nobu because of their price while Roka was overbooked. Anyways, after much clicking of my mouse I chanced upon a random post with pictures of food at Kiku. It didn’t look too bad so I thought ‘what the heck’.
Estabished in 1978, Kiku is a branch of the Mikuniya Onsen (hot spring) Inn in Kinosaki, Hyogo. The dining room is simplistic, traditional and minimalistic – the classical Japanese theme of wood is rife throughout with wooden tables, chairs, blinds and partition alongside faux bamboo. The stone black floors and cream coloured walls provided a monochromatic backdrop. Tables are well spaced apart.
The dinner menu offers up Japanese inspired fair with a modern twist along with the classics. You will fine the usual suspects like tempura, chawan mushi and yakitori alongside more obscure delicacies such as Tumiki Natto (fermented soy bean with quail egg yolk) and Ume Zousui (pickled plum porridge). Unsurprising then that many of the patrons dining here are Japanese businessmen. Tasting menus in the form of Kyoto style Kaiseki dinner courses are available ranging from £46 to £65. The idea of a Kaiseki dinner course is a multi-course dinner where diners can enjoy different tastes, textures, appearances and colours of their food. Set lunch ranges between £16 and £29. We opted for the ‘Edo Dinner’ tasting menu at £65.