Down a well hidden staircase on the exclusive Beauchamp Place, is the bar Kumo, a purveyor of japanese bites and classy cocktails. You may have walked that street 10 times and missed it, or mistaken it for a Gentlemen’s Club (there must be something slightly seedy about walking down a red staircase, right?). Once inside, the striking decor, reflective surfaces and mirrors make the small venue look deceptively big. These are intense surroundings and not ones I would not usually eat in, but I take the plump anyway because this isn’t just about the food – as I realise when handed the cocktail menu. I take a signature Apple Martini and my companion, a Mojito – both are not overly sweet – a genuine mix of flavours.
Settling down at our table we opted for a large platter that involved four different Maki rolls, six of each (but only one of which was vegetarian but the staff are probably accommodating enough to change that if required), two miso soups with Tofu and what they call ‘warm mixed Japanese mushroom salad‘ – but I would call stir fried button mushrooms with japanese flavours. The sushi had some reassuring imperfections that spelt made on the premises. A smallish selection of standard fillings are available with slightly more interesting extras such as soft shell crab. Presentation was impeccable, elegant and refined – perfect for a cocktail drinking group to share.
Our large platter was supposed to satisfy 3-4 but just about filled two hungry women so don’t expect to leave bursting (particularly with prices reflecting the neighbourhood – our platter was £40). But that isn’t the nature of Kumo – this is a place to while away the hours, a marriage of cocktails and sushi (in the true way sushi should be eaten – i.e. as a snack not a meal) and the attentive, friendly staff make this all the more easy. (Words: Laura Thornley)Kumo Knightsbridge, 1 Beauchamp Place Tube: Knightsbridge Price: (££££)£ Further info: www.kumoknightsbridge.com