How To Apply Some Japanese Junk Food To Your Saturday Hangover
The new Kurobuta brunch already looks set to improve our Saturday, and the food hasn't even arrived yet. But smoky-sweet smells drift out of the open kitchen, mandarin mimosas arrive within about 90 seconds of reaching our table, and the live music promised turns out to be a guitarist with a soothing rumble of a voice doing Toto covers.
Then there's the whole brunch ethos, where we reckon Kurobuta's really nailing it. It's a truth universally acknowledged at Londonist HQ that bottomless food beats bottomless booze, hands-down. And that's what they're offering here: an unfettered stroll through their buns, hot plates, sushi and desserts — plus a welcome cocktail — limited only by how much eating you can cram into two hours.
On top of that, where plenty of London's brunches slap on a hefty price tag for bottomless drinks — one that means you'd need to put away a Churchillian amount of breakfast booze just to make the financials stack up — Kurobuta's charging that at £10 extra. So while their version of bottomless brunch isn't cheap, this one just makes more sense than most — not least because of the miso-covered, mayo-soaked swagger of the menu.
If you're hungover it might be kill or cure: every flavour dialled up to 11, every dish smiting us with wasabi or umami or salt, with peanut soy or pickle tang. The good kind of smiting. Dishes that in different hands might be quiet, supporting acts or pared-back mains (a bowl of edamame beans, or a squash hotpot) get shaken up into starring roles via the heavy application of heat and fat and wasabi flourishes. The edamame come hot, lightly oily and crusted with salt, and the hotpot's a glorious thickness of miso butter.
Not everything reaches those hotpot heights: we're less keen on the intensely sweet pumpkin tempura, sticky with honey, or the BBQ pork belly bun, meatiness drowned out by the peanut sauce. But the beauty of the brunch menu means the occasional just-okay dish gets quickly overwritten by the arrival of something new and (odds are), stickily, filthily good.
We snack on shrimp tempura and salmon sashimi pizza-crackers. Empty plates get whipped away and replaced with piping hot ones in a steady flow. Toto plays on in the background. Saturday's looking good.
The Japanese Dude Food brunch is £35 a head for bottomless food and a welcome cocktail, or £45 a head including bottomless beer, prosecco or wine, running every Saturday at 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm.
Kurobuta Marble Arch, 17-20 Kendal Street, W2 2AW.
Last Updated 12 June 2018