Jidori is the second opening of the year from chef Brett Redman, who also opened The Richmond in Hackney in March. His partner this time around is Natalie Lee-Joe, a former creative strategist at Saatchi & Saatchi and first time restauranteur. The space they have created is pleasingly minimal; instead of going down the well trodden route of mismatched chairs and reclaimed wood, the whole room is a calming combination of eggshell hues, and smooth surfaces.
Tried and tested
We began with cocktails, the Yuzu daiquiri and Taspo (around £8 each) and sesame and chill marinated cucumber (£3). The cucumbers hummed with spice and had retained their bite; a serious contender for our new favourite bar snack. Next, arrived koji fried chicken (£6), aubergine skewers with miso butter (£3.50), king oyster mushrooms (£3.50), and a katsu curry scotch egg (£5). So far, so faultless. The katsu sauce with the scotch egg easily blew a certain omnipresent chain’s offering out of the window, and the fried chicken was the perfect balance of flavour and crunch. The next wave had a few missteps but also some gems. The tsukune minced chicken skewer (£5) with a vibrant do-it-yourself egg yolk soy emulsion sauce was delicious, and the dipping sauce proved a useful accompaniment to the otherwise slightly under flavoured thighs (£4.50) and wings (£4). Crispy edged (and quirkily triangular) yaki onigiri rice balls (£3) were also perfect to mop up the last of the katsu and tsukune sauces.
There was only one dessert on the menu when we visited; ginger ice cream, miso caramel, sweet potato crisps and black sesame praline (£5), so we ordered it to share. It was hands down the most delicious thing we ate all night. The subtle umami of the miso perfectly balanced the caramel’s sweetness, and the crunch of the sweet potato and sesame lend the perfect amount of bite. We would have happily eaten three more portions, but as usual, restraint had not been the order of the night and we were just too full.
Co founder Natalie Lee-Joe was a flawlessly cheerful and welcoming host, and we are sure that once Jidori hits its stride, every dish will be a knock out.
There are no reservations, so arrive early on peak days to avoid disappointment.
|What||Jidori: Yakitori restaurant, Dalston|
|Where||Jidori, Dalston, 89 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
07 Dec 15 – 05 Dec 16, Mon to Thurs 6pm - 11pm, Fri to Sat 6pm - 12am
|Price||£3 - £8 small plates|