Puff of air, encased in very thin crispy pigs skin. This is one of the many delights that you will find on the new Kiri menu. It is a new casual dining Japanese place near Bond Street. Born of a pedigree with fine dining restaurants like Chisou behind the team, you can expect the food to be stellar.
Kiri is a new Japanese Izakaya, a Japanese version of a gastropub. They came about when sake shops (Sake-Ya) started to serve food to their customers. Nowadays, a looser definition or one that applies to the spate of new Izakayas in London is a casual Japanese eaterie.
At Kiri, menus are printed on a single A4 sheet, on a clipboard that hangs by the table. Walls are lined with colourful Sake barrels and the back dining room has a unique chandelier made with sake bottles. Walls are decorated with Japanese whisky barrel tops and Japanese graphic art. It is partway to making you feel like you are actually in a Japanese restaurant.
The menu at Kiri offers a selection of small plates and changes with the seasons. Sake served here is imported directly by them from selected breweries in Japan and is not available elsewhere in the UK. If you are learning about Sake, let them guide you. Let them guide you to pick an unusual sake to go with your meal. You can order by the glass or bottle.
Besides the superb crispy clouds of pork crackling, we had other starters and side dishes. Octopus Carpaccio, thinly sliced, served with a wasabi dressing was fresh and tender. Little rolls of apple smoked tuna tataki dressed in an onion sauce was just sublime. The little dish of pickled vegetables gave the other flavours a nice zingy contrast.
Agedashi Tofu, lightly fried and served in a light soy sauce is found on many menus. Here they do it really well, very lightly battered and served in a delightfully balanced sauce. Can’t recommend this dish enough.
Besides the recognisable Japanese dishes, they sneaked in a few Korean dishes like the crowd favourite Korean Fried Chicken. Here, it is done sticky sweet with a healthy kick of spice. One dish that you would want served in a big bucket and devoured with a cold glass of sake on the side.
The revolving fried items on the menu are imaginative and will tickle the trickiest taste buds.
Every dish was so well executed, all the flavours were well balanced and beautifully presented. For the second week of operations, this is really impressive. I’d expect a few glitches when opening a new restaurant with a new menu. The service was smooth and friendly as they had brought in staff from their other restaurants to train the new recruits. The management team should be congratulated for pulling off such a great opening and fab food.
The menu at Kiri changes regularly so you may not see all these dishes on the menu when you visit but you whatever is being served will be well prepared and delicious. A great addition to dining choices around the Bond Street are for sure. We’ll be checking back soon.
22-23 Woodstock St,
London WC1 2AR
Tel: 020 7493 5556
EatCookExplore was a guest of Kiri London