Sunday, 21 December 2014


The Chinese restaurant Mao Tai was a Fulham institution for 29 years and there was uproar amongst locals when it appeared to close….however luckily it was just being refurbished and rebranded. It's new name is Kozu, it is the brainchild of the original proprietor Mark Barnett and Nobuhisha Takahasi, a head sushi chef for Nobu in both Cape Town and London. The focus is now on Japanese cuisine and there is also a robata grill. The plush interior and cool bar remain very similar although the loos have had a fabulous upgrade!

Pascal and I do not eat Chinese regularly as we tend to get overexcited and order too much and then feel revoltingly ill, so we were very happy with the change. We originally went last summer and had a fabulous meal however I forgot to take photos of everything - I was too busy stuffing my face I expect! So before you think Pascal and I are compulsive eaters (you wouldn't be far wrong) this is a combination of two meals however we did order lots of the same things both times.

The menu contains many of my favourites. The first time we went we chose the soft shell crab tempura. This was good - I adore soft shell crab - although if I was going to be fussy, the batter could have been slightly lighter.

On the other hand the yuzu squid with a creamy yuzu dipping sauce was the best squid I have ever had - unbelievable. Pascal and I could have had a portion each - it was so light and tasty and the sauce was divine.

Both times we also had the salmon tartare with caviar umami jelly. This was very fresh and the salmon literally melted in your mouth. Not sure of the point of the jelly but it looked pretty with the gold leaf!

We also had the beef tataki with a spicy ponzu sauce. Once again we loved this - it had a little kick to it but the beef was incredibly tender and I loved the garlic chips.

My favourite is always the sushi rolls - I could eat them daily. We had the California maki and the shrimp tempura maki - both were absolutely excellent. I had to restrain myself from ordering more!

Whenever we go for Japanese Pascal's favourite is the chicken yakitori - in fact he won't even order in from Feng Sushi as they don't do them. Kozu, on the other hand, do them very well as they are served in a truffle sauce and I really recommend them.

I love the gyoza dumplings and I ordered the pork and ginger ones however they weren't the best and I was pretty disappointed especially as Mao Tai used to have the best dim sum. Maybe I will try the chicken or vegetable ones next time.

Now when we went for the first time in the summer we ordered chicken teriyaki, pork belly with spicy sweet miso and steamed rice. They were all good but nothing to write home about. Consequently we didn't order them again!

Instead we ordered the udon noodles with roast duck and Chinese mushrooms. I was expecting chow mien but this was more ramen.

It would be Arabella's idea of hell - mushrooms and duck, her two worst foods!! Even though it was extremely difficult to eat, it was surprisingly good. My brother adores ramen and super noodles and I can definitely see the connection between the two, I think I am a convert (as long as no one watches me spill it everywhere) although it's not my number 1.

I could have ordered more maki rolls but we decided to not overdo it - there is a pudding menu with creme brûlée and chocolate truffles but I was more interested in my malteser bunny waiting for me at home.

A very good meal, mostly excellent food all beautifully presented. It is expensive, so it's a meal for a special occasion but it is worth it especially as the service is faultless. Next time I go I will be ordering pretty much the same "starters" although increasing the maki roll intake tenfold (have I said that already?)!


58 New King's Road,
Tel: 020 7731 2520

Square Meal 
Kozu on Urbanspoon

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