A few weeks ago I was invited to a Japanese restaurant that's hidden down a passageway in Chiswick. Chisou have 3 branches - Mayfair, Knightsbridge and the Chiswick branch we went to. I was invited to write a review of the restaurant, as they struggle to let people know where they are, as they're not visible from Chiswick High Street.
Chisou is a Japanese restaurant, with dark wood interiors and little cubby booth tables to hide away in. We were sitting in one of these cubbies and it made for a lovely, intimate dinner, although it was so dark in there that my photos didn't turn out so good!
Before we went to Chisou I'd had a look at their website and had eyed up certain items on the menu I definitely wanted to try, but when we got there we were told they had chosen a tasting menu for us, of their 10 best dishes. This was great as we got to try the best bits from the menu, but I do quite like choosing my food myself, so was a little disappointed I wouldn't be able to try a couple things I'd noted from their menu. However when the food came out, that was all forgotten!
We started with a really fresh but decadent sushi plate of yellowtail tuna wrapped around cresses and topped with truffle. It was a brilliant start to the meal, and something I would've ordered for myself off the menu.
This was followed by soft shell crab, with chilli and spring onion and a ponzu dipping sauce. I always order soft shell crab when it's on a menu and this version was one of the best I've had - not too greasy from the deep frying but with a really good crispy outside.
The next dish was one of the least impressive visually, which made its truly amazing flavour even more surprising. A plate of spinach drizzled with ponzu was served with spicy prawns that you wrapped in a spinach leaf before eating. The ponzu was light and almost citrusy and worked perfectly with the iron rich spinach and slight spice of the prawn.
On to the next course, which was another of my favourites - sticky, sweet, sesame chicken wings. So good and so sticky!
These were served alongside a skewer of pork belly and Japanese peppers that I personally didn't like that much - I found them a bit bitter for my taste. And unfortunately the minced chicken with teriyaki that followed was a little dry and not my favourite of the dishes, but also something I would've never ordered for myself in a restaurant.
Next up a was the most amazing platter of sushi and ngiri, and what I had been hankering after all evening. A huge plate of beautifully cut, avocado wrapped around asparagus, the freshest, lightest tuna on sticky sushi rice and salmon sashimi rolls - it was exactly what I'd hoped for and what I would order when eating sushi out.
Our final (and probably best) main course was the most tender fillet of beef, sliced and served with sticky schezuan pepper sauce, that just melted in the mouth. It was so wonderfully succulent and full of flavour.
Finally it was time for pudding, which we hardly had room for! I'm normally a starter and main kind of girl rather than main and pudding, and I'm not the biggest fan of Japanese puddings, but we were given red bean pana cotta and ice cream, and mochi (a rice putty wrapped around ice cream) in green tea, raspberry and caramel flavours. I tried some of all of the puddings that each have their own distinct flavour, that I personally think is an acquired taste!
Chisou in Chiswick is on Barley Mow Passage, just off the High St. It isn't the cheapest restaurant on the high street, but definitely not the most expensive - I believe you get what you pay for and therefore Chisou is really good value. I've been back since, and chosen my own food off the menu, and really enjoyed my meal again, so do visit it if you're looking for a really good Japanese meal.
I'm now looking forward to trying out their 2 other branches!