I can’t actually remember what Nizuni on Charlotte Street used to be. I walk down Charlotte Street all the time, and for almost as long as I can remember, the space was in development. All of the sudden, Nizuni came out of nowhere.
Looking in, the place looks slick. Walking in, it’s a minimalist’s dream. Clean lines, beautiful neutral colour schemes, whoever did the interior decorating for Nizuni is my hero.
We were a bit early for lunch (12:30), and thus were the nearly first to arrive in the restaurant. We were greeted by, who I assume was, the manager. When we told him we’d never to the restaurant been before but were very excited to try, he had the kind of pride and excitement on his face that you only get if you put your heart and soul into a something. I liked that – it felt more personal.
We started with the Agadashi Tofu:
Some of the best I’ve ever had. Light, crisp and completely impenetrable to the gorgeous sweet soy sauce it was bathed in. Just as it should be.
For mains, I went down the maki route, while my colleague tried the Yaki Udon Noodles.
The Spicy Hamachi Roll was difficult to rate. The spicy sauce on top (most similar to Tabasco than anything) drowned out any taste of the fish. I got a slight amount of onion from the greenery inside, but that was it.
The Unagi and Avocado Roll was good quality, but as you can see, missing the sweet soy drizzle that – face it – makes and unagi avocado roll an unagi avocado roll.
Better luck was had with the noodles. Thick slippery udon with tender slices of beef and wok-tossed veggies. We both agreed it was a winner.
As an added treat, we split the Chestnut Cake with Green Tea Ice Cream:
Top marks for presentation, but I couldn’t help feeling the green tea/chestnut pairing was a bit off. Individually they were both fine, but together it was a bit mismatched.
Any restaurant less than a month in has growing pains, so I’m not really too fussed about the misses we had at lunch. With tea and service, it was £18 a head. Admittedly, it was a bit much for lunch, but completely reasonable for dinner. With the uber-expensive Roka across the street being the only other Japanese sit-down restaurant option on Charlotte Street, Nizuni is a very welcome addition to the neighbourhood