Remember when I went restaurant hopping for the London Restaurant Festival's Japanese Journey? One of our stops was Kurobuta, a place that serves what they deem "Japanese junk/street food" - not quite the description I would give, it's more like dishes with a Japanese/fusion flair. In any case, I really enjoyed the selection on offer when I went there, so my sister and I decided to give them a go for a casual, tapas-style dinner when she was in London. We went to the Chelsea branch and sat at the small counter - it's a small, cosy restaurant, especially compared to the Marble Arch one which is much larger and more snazzy.
Without actually meaning to, we ended up with more fried food than we anticipated - oh well. It happens! First up were the sweet potato fries with soba-ko, which were quite delicious and not at all greasy, which is a plus. Then the Jerusalem Artichoke Chopsticks with truffled ponzu sauce arrived, which are quite original and the whole thing works. Kana and I love seafood, so the fried squid didn't escape us - a bit too much of the fried stuff at this point, but we ate it all up dutifully.
Our favourites were the Tuna Sashimi Pizza & BBQ Pork Belly Buns. Obviously the "pizza" is nothing like its namesake, other than that there is a base and things are place on top, but it was really quite good - the crispy base somehow went very well with the sashimi, and the flavouring was spot on. As for the pork belly - I had tried it on the Japanese Journey so I knew it would be good, and it did not disappoint.
Although it looks like a small selection of food, we left quite happily satisfied - although we did have room for dessert, and picked up a cake from l'Eto on the way home (I will be writing about l'Eto soon!). The guy serving us at the counter was very friendly, with a true Australian accent (Scott Hallsworth, the founder of Kurobuta, is Australian), and we had a lovely evening.
Don't go there expecting authentic Japanese food - that ain't happening. But for a menu with a twist that will give you plenty of variety and interesting ideas, it's a good one. Don't skip the pork belly, you won't regret it.