There’s a calm serenity when we walk into INKO NITO, the new Soho restaurant from Zuma. It’s all pale wood and bare stone with a robata grill in the centre of the room. Tables, some low, some high, are zig zagged around meaning everyone gets a look in at the action.
They’ve already opened an INKO NITO in LA so the polished service comes as no surprise. We start with NIGAKI, which is roasted nori and sushi rice with various toppings – sweet Portland crab, avocado, wasabi tobiko and yuzu mayo (Â£7.20) is a highlight.
Fried shrimp (Â£10.80) are very pleasant; soft, sweet prawns in a decent batter. Chicken wings (Â£6.60) are rather lovely too. So far, so good.
Then we get the Cobia collar (Â£17.60). It’s a fish and one I’ve never heard of. The chef tells us to dig out parts of the flesh from the bone with our fingers. It looks like offcuts but the fish is incredible and so unusual.
A simple salmon fillet (Â£13.80) is brought alive with grapefruit miso and sansho salt. It tastes like black cod but even richer. Sugar, salt and fat are just the best things ever right?
Bone marrow (Â£6.60) comes with Japanese milk bread and pickled shallots. Spread that heavenly fat over the triangles of bread and you’ll be in heaven. A long tube of pork belly (Â£13.80) is thinly sliced and all sweet and sticky.
For dessert there’s one option and it’s a posh McFlurry; charred coconut soft serve ice cream, soy, pocky and Japanese granola (Â£5.50). If you’re only doing one pud, make it a belter, and this is certainly just that.
The food at Inko Nito is all about flavour and it’s the sort of cooking I love to eat. Not vegan, not cleansing, just good old fashioned meat and fat. Truly delicious.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant