One of the best things about living in London is all the new restaurant openings. There’s nothing better than mincing into a brand spanking new eatery and trying exciting dishes created by the city’s finest chefs.
Junsei is one of the capital’s latest culinary offerings nestled in the chic streets of Marylebone and I was delighted to accept an invitation here for dinner. Specialising in Japanese yakitori, this elegant restaurant prides itself on a zero-waste concept and its simple, barbecue to plate cooking concept.
I visited with a fellow foodie one rainy weekday evening and was delighted with the inviting interiors and chef led theatrics in front of our stylish seating area. We watched in awe as succulent skewers of various cuts of meats (nose – to tail especially) were delicately prepared over binchotan charcoal before being placed on our plates for us to devour happily.
When we were first told that the chef would be preparing and choosing our 7 course tasting menu, we were slightly concerned. As Londoners used to being in control of what food we order, this felt slightly unnerving. Yet we decided to give into this traditional Japanese custom called “Omakase” – the art of letting the chef choose, and were pleasantly surprised.
I would never have ordered such adventurous cuts of meat such as chicken heart, gizzards or necks, but I put my foodie fears aside and decided to try everything with an inquisitive palate. And I was so happy I did. Every morsel of food placed in front of us was flavoursome and brought us so much joy.
As an incredibly indecisive person, there was also the relaxing freedom of giving up any perplexed menu scanning and the comfort that comes with letting someone else decide what you will eat.
I was a massive fan of all of the dishes I savoured, in particular the juicy chicken meatballs, chicken wings and surprise dessert – a sticky and soft Japanese cake topped with hot figs and matcha ice cream.
Cocktails were classy, zesty and delightfully Japanese. The naughtily named Satsuma Screw was a happy concoction of infused tea, Aperol, Moroni miso syrup and orange juice. My dining companion savoured her Ume Bellini (plum wine and Prosecco) till the last drop and was equally as impressed with the evening’s culinary magic.
Go with your favourite people and prepare to leave all foodie inhibitions behind. You can thank me later.