Situated at the Hilton Metropole hotel at Edgware Road, Kojawan is like nothing you will have seen before in London. The decor can be best described using their own words “retro-futuristic”. If you were entering a futuristic business class lounge at Tokyo, this is what most people would expect: sleek grey tables and blue/grey chairs punctuated by quirky manga models and pop surrealism cushions.
Being on the 23rd floor of a hotel with vast windows, naturally the stunning views would be a talking point. The red flashing lights shining in the distance in the evenings just adds to the futuristic feel of the restaurant. Try and book a table next to the window facing Edgware road if possible to observe our busy metropolis in prime action. They could still do with dimming the restaurant lights more so restaurant diners can enjoy the magnificent views but then again this is more of a quirky venue for gatherings with a group of friends or family rather than a quiet evening of romantic dining for two.
I would say the cuisine here scales the heights even more so than the views. Using cobia blue for sashimi is going to be even more prevalent in the future given cobia grows 3 times quicker than salmon and yet it still offers sashimi grade quality meat without the fishiness. The version here is gently marinated with citrus soy.
You would never imagine Wagyu tartar matching so well with sea lettuce and chilli but it works perfectly along with added texture from crunchy pears and crispy sesame crackers.
Seasoning of the dishes are carefully though out affairs here. A rather standard sticky pork belly dish is considerably livened up by jalapeño ponzu. Whilst Octopus is given extra smokiness with lemon and smoked red pepper oil.
The real standout dishes are in the main courses section here. Fat noodles with clams, sake, Parmesan and strange-looking fish flakes waving in the air is like a Japanese take on the spaghetti vongole but with even more intense flavours although using udon noodles wouldn’t be my first preference.
Talking of rich flavours, it doesn’t get any stronger than the whole lobster with morels, seaweed and shellfish tea. All 4 ingredients are rich tasting on their own but when combined it made for an even more powerful tasting dish. I suspect the shellfish tea broth might have been cooking for a considerable amount of time to bring out the flavours. Thankfully they had some glass noodles on hand to soak up the broth.
Prices are by and large a few pounds more expensive for each dish than elsewhere, but this isn’t a venue you can compare with anything else in London. The view is unparalleled and the food is unique for Londoners, so definitely take a trip to the future and visit Kojawan.