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Friday, 23 January 2015

When Mac Met Cheese at The Shop - Kushi's Tacos at Kitchenette

Wednesday 21st January - Dinner is great isn't it? Do you know what's even better? 

TWO DINNERS.

My economy of travel approach to London normally manifests itself in a pub-restaurant-bar combo of some sort; but when two foodie popups arrive in Kensal Rise in the same week - well, there was really only ever one solution. Double dinner.

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First up was When Mac Met Cheese (a.k.a Sammy Shonn) who has set up shop in The Shop for three months.  

I wrote about Sammy's mac'n'cheese when he popped up in Bayswater last year, and he's started off with the same menu here - Gorgeous Macancinis (deep fried mac and cheese balls with Truffle & Wild Mushroom or Jalapenos & Cheddar), a range of Mac and Cheese twists from Mum's Classic to Carlos the Cactus and Deep Fried Oreos.  You can't go wrong really.

The Shop is a lovely little location, though you may have a bit of a wait for a table.  Hang around the bar with some Brewers & Union Unfiltered Lager and £8-9 cocktails served in jam jars and milk bottles until you can get your cheesy fix.  Sorted.

Details : 16th Jan-16th April-ish, Wed-Fri 6-10, Sat 12-10 & Sun 12-6






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After pre-dinner, it was time for dinner, so Ella (The Little Brown Book) and I skipped down the rise to Kitchenette's "incubator restaurant" space beneath Dock Kitchen.  You may recognise the interior shots from a recent post on The Good Egg's Jerusalem Brunch on the same site.  I can't get enough of the Tom Dixon design, clearly.








Kushi's are one of several young food entrepeneurs that Kitchenette support in various ways, including these rotating residencies in W10.  They'll be in town until 25th February when Zoe's Ghana Kitchen takes over.

Kushi's normally go down a Japanese grilled skewers path, but with no barbecue on site, chef Greg Round has created a Japanese tacos-led menu with umami-filled crispy gyoza shells. 


It's a sharing affair, so just order as much as you think you can handle.  This was about right for two:

Tacos (2 per portion):

- Yuzu Kosho Chicken Thigh, Grilled Corn, Queso Fresco, Crema - £6
- Saamjang Pork Ragu, Crispy Shallot, Chives, Coriander - £6
- Asahi-Battered Coley, Jalapeno, Crema, Napa Cabbage, Grape - £5.50
- Red Miso & Soy Ox Cheek, Shiitake, Karashi Crema, Napa Cabbage - £6.50
- Barley Miso and Chipotle Lamb Shoulder, Pickled Fennel, Feta - £6.50

Small Plates:

- Kushi's Fried Chicken - Gochujang, Sesame - £6.50
- Jerusalem Artichoke Tempura & Nori Mayonnaise - £4.50

Dessert:

- Churros - Kinako & Salted Caramel - £4.50

Jerusalem Artichoke Tempura & Nori Mayonnaise - £4.50

Jerusalem Artichoke Tempura & Nori Mayonnaise - £4.50

Asahi-Battered Coley, Jalapeno, Crema, Napa Cabbage, Grape - £5.50

Yuzu Kosho Chicken Thigh, Grilled Corn, Queso Fresco, Crema - £6 // Saamjang Pork Ragu, Crispy Shallot, Chives, Coriander - £6

Red Miso & Soy Ox Cheek, Shiitake, Karashi Crema, Napa Cabbage - £6.50

Barley Miso and Chipotle Lamb Shoulder, Pickled Fennel, Feta - £6.50

Kushi's Fried Chicken - Gochujang, Sesame - £6.50

Churros - Kinako & Salted Caramel - £4.50

I often find the taco vehicle uninspiring but the crispy gyoza shells were a delight.  Some combinations worked better than others, but most were hits.  I could have eaten the beer-battered coley bites all night. Fishy Jerusalem Artichoke Tempura didn't do it for me, but the KFC (Kushi Fried Chicken) is a must - it's not subtle, but who cares?  As for dessert, I'm never convinced by Churros when you could have squishier doughnuts, but salted caramel sauce is always hard to turn down.

Be sure to wash it all down with a delightful Tutto Vermouth & Tonic or a Sacred G&T for £6.

Kushi's is fun food and everyone should find several dishes to enjoy.  And the Kitchenette site is simply stunning.  Save some time for a trip to the Tom Dixon design showroom, though be prepared to window shop - it's bloody expensive.

Square Meal




So West London is on a bit of a roll.  Here are a few more places to check out nearby:

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