I’m sure that there are plenty of good restaurants in Chiswick. Why wouldn’t there be? The thing is that I’ve never really thought of it as a go-to place for quality Japanese food. At least I hadn’t until I found Chisou.
They also have branches in Mayfair and Knightsbridge but we were in Chiswick and our first challenge was actually finding the restaurant. It’s tucked away out of view from the high street, which is a crying shame because more people should know about its existence.
We were invited by the restaurant so we left ordering up to them. Lots has been written of late about food bloggers taking freebies and I agree with much of the criticism. Under certain circumstances though, I think it’s okay and this was one of those occasions.
After an brief and unsavoury fling with the food PR merry-go-round in the early days of the piggy blog, we realised that it just wasn’t us. To get back on track, we brought in a code of conduct. Under this code we only accept freebies from restaurants we would’ve eaten at of our own accord and if it’s no good, it doesn’t go on the site.
Out tasting experience kicked off with a Horenso salad. What a refreshing way to start the meal. The yuzu really lifted the dish and went great with the prawns. I didn’t pick up much spice in the dish but it didn’t need it.
Seabass sashimi was very delicate and expertly prepared. The fish was so thin it was almost transparent. The ponzu sauce added a lovely citrus note, it tasted almost like ceviche.
As much as we liked the mixed platter, on the whole I still think it was probably the weakest course. That said, every element was enjoyable in its own right. Soft shell crab was crisp, light and not at all greasy. Tsukune yaki (grilled chicken meatballs) had plenty of flavour but lacked bite. Nagoya style wings were sticky, sweet and salty in equal measure but the overriding flavour was that of Teriyaki sauce.
The sushi selection was colourful, flavoursome and beautifully presented. This was undoubtedly the outstanding part of the meal.
Our absolute favourite morsel of all was the toro nigiri. It was rich, almost creamy in texture and utterly delicious.
The fillet of beef was of similarly high quality. Not only was the meat rare and incredibly tender but it had a fantastic flavour that I’d usually associate with more fatty cuts. The sansho pepper (very similar to Sichuan pepper) has a slight numbing quality.
We shared the mochi ice cream (above) and a green tea panacotta (£6.80) for dessert. These were a lovely end to a genuinely faultless meal. This is definitely a place we’d return to, if we didn’t live on the other side of town.
For those of you who live around Chiswick, you are lucky to have such a great Japanese restaurant on your doorstep, without a queue in sight! For those of you who live a little further away, the sushi alone is worth travelling for.
All food was kindly comped by the restaurant.
Address: 1 Barley Mow Passage, London, W4 4PH
Tel: 020 8994 3636