Life, you are a beauty. How can it be that when you think you know an area so well, you overlook a true gem?
This is exactly how I felt when I sat down to dinner at Murakami on St Martin’s Lane. I must have walked past at least 20 times since the restaurant opened last summer, but I have never really noticed the gloriousness that turned out to be Murakami – a newish Japanese restaurant serving HIGH quality and HIGH taste small dishes.
Needless to say my co-dining companion, Kate, and I kicked things off with a bottle of prosecco, which the huns at Murakami lovingly served with a cheeky little raspberry in their fabulous glasses. Excellent start. Everyday I’m bubblin’…
The menu is filled to the brim with all kinds of gloriousness – sushi, fresh fish, dumplings, Asian tapas and Japanese grilled goods. HI HI HI. SO, browsing the menu, we obviously wanted to try EVERYTHING. Failing that though, we tried as much variety as we could. GET READY for some serious food envy.
Edamame peas are my favourite. Will and I ordered them on our first date at a different restaurant and, sad as it sounds, they always make me happy! So salty, warm and lovely and very hard to get wrong. So far so good!
Kate and I asked for things to arrive as they came out of the kitchen, so kind of ended up with a banquet situation. FINE BY US! One of the cold dishes to arrive first was this ABSOLUTELY EFFING BEAUTIFUL (so beautiful I may print this picture and put it in a heart shaped frame) tuna tartare. It sat on such a lovely bed of avocado and was so delicious that I wanted to actually cry.
Oh hello seabass nigiri! No this was lovely, but I was still swooning over the tuna. Beautiful and fresh though, I must say. It does however cost £3 a piece.
SMOKED DUCK. Yes – it is as delicious as it sounds! Above are smoked duck murakami rolls with cucumber, sweet chilli and spring onion. Lovely. Also plentiful with 8 pieces!
SO THESE YELLOWTAIL CARPACCIO WERE FRIGGIN AWESOME. They were served with chilli ponzu, garlic “chips” and chives. YES this is an expensive dish at £11 for 6 little slices, but I have to say that they were a genuine taste sensation. These are a MUST for fresh fish lovers (who have a few bob to indulge their indulgence.) OH YUM.
MORE endlessly wonderful fresh fish – this time served hot. Above is a grilled scallop dish (I LOVE me a scallop) served with “sweet Thai basil.” As I said, I LOVE scallops – this dish was nice but for me the sweet Thai sauce somewhat overpowered the delicacy of the fish which was a tiny bit of a shame.
The soft shell crab tempura (above) was somewhat novel. Eating crab with shell on sounds like a bad idea, but it was fine and tasty. The saltiness of the crab was nicely offset by the creaminess of the batter which, mixed with a dash of salad and a dip of tartare sauce, was quite the treat.
OKAY NOW WE ARE REALLY TALKING. Pork Gyoza dumplings. Hot, delicious, cooked to perfection and a nice texture variant considering our spread. The only downside? There was an odd number of them so Kate and I had to wage a bloody battle that may well span the generations to obtain the last one.
What was my favourite dish of the evening? LOOK ABOVE YA. Would I sell my as of yet non-existent first born for more of these ribs? Probably. Or at least I’ll name them after them. Japanese BBQ Baby Back Ribs. SWEET. Literally. There was a beautiful sweetness to these impossibly succulent, melt in mouth, bites from the ribcage of heaven!
What could you possibly do to top these? Were we too full for pudding. HA – yes, but there was NUTELLA CHEESECAKE on the menu…
I’ma just let this picture do the talking, m’kay?
Obviously we needed some kind of helpful digestive tea, and this pot of zingy peppermint did the trick. Look how lovely the crockery is too!
If it wasn’t evident from the food presentation and the fabulous slate/glass/crockery selection – this place is super stylish. There is even a whole wall made of moss. MOSS. Seriously.
My only real feedback on the restaurant is perhaps a tiny price adjustment. Our meal would have come to around £130 which, although we had a fair amount, is quite a bit to slap down…for me anyway. Some things – TOTALLY WORTH IT like £8.50 for the ribs, £5.90 for the pork dumplings and £5 for the cheesecake. Although a few bits and bobs break the £10 barrier, which for small plates is a lot. THAT said, it is all totally delicious and how often does one usually consume yellowtail.
The place looks GREAT, the service was wonderful and the food was INCREDIBLE. If you are after a special place for a lovely and non traditional dinner then this is eat. Good GOD order the ribs!
A definite 5/5 for me!
Wondering what Kate thought? One look at her happy little face will tell ya’!