Now is a good time to be a sushi fan. The sublime, delicate, raw fish dish is having a moment. Not a prohibitively pricey Nobu kind of moment, but a real life, real food, real prices moment. After the opening of Sticks N Sushi on Nelson Road and the launch Locale’s sushi menu, we now have Kitcho in Greenwich.
Formerly the hugely popular Aji Ichiban on Nelson Road, the restaurant has relocated to Greenwich High Road and relaunched as Kitcho. The interior is calm and cool with dark wood and pared-back furnishings, as a Japanese restaurant ought to be, in my opinion. The front space is a bar area so you can call in for a drink (should you be missing the venue’s previous occupant, Bar 57), and through the back you head either upstairs to eat at the sushi counter, or the adjacent booths, or downstairs where larger parties can be accommodated.
The bar is stacked with a healthy population of Japanese sakes and whiskies. I highly recommend commencing your meal with a Mio sparkling sake – it’s the same brand they serve at Sake No Hana and it’s delicious; light and delicate with fruity aromas. If you like Prosecco, you’ll love it. We supped ours alongside shared starters of light, crispy wasabi prawns (tempura battered with wasabi mayonnaise) and a kani (crab) and avocado salad with a delectable miso dressing.
We then shared a beautiful, indulgent mixed sushi and sashimi platter. My friend, not convinced he was a fan of raw fish, concentrated his efforts on the dragon maki roll (deep fried prawns in bread crumbs, topped with thinly sliced avocado and flying fish roe). But he soon progressed to the mix of tuna and salmon sushi and sashimi with no qualms. It’s absolutely delicious. You can watch the chef prepare it at the sushi counter from the comfort of your seats, so you know it’s fresh as a daisy, and it’s as good as any sushi I’ve ever had.
We also ordered gyu (sirloin steak) with a punchy wasabi dressing and a very tasty tori teri (skin-on pan-fried chicken with teriyaki sauce). Dessert is an acquired taste. Having lived in Japan I’m down with sesame seed ice cream encased in a sticky, gelatinous mochi shell, but I wouldn’t blame you if you stuck to the green tea ice cream!
This place is a no to pan-Asian or fusion cuisines and a yes to straight-up, authentic Japanese food. The menu is packed full of favourites like udon, ramen, katsu curry and donburi, with teppanyaki scheduled to arrive soon. Excellent.
57 Greenwich High Road SE10 8JL; 020 8691 5511; kitcho.co.uk
Four indulgent courses for two, around £90
What to eat…
The sushi or sashimi moriawase (mixed platter)
What to know…
Sit at the sushi counter for an authentic Japanese experience