Nestled amongst the elegant Townhouses of Belgravia, the innovative UNI restaurant has managed to blend Japanese (a London favourite) with the lesser known and appreciated tastes of Peru, creating a delicious and unique dining experience in this beautiful area of the city. A perfect Friday night date spot, the modern wood and glass interior feels surprisingly intimate and, if the opportunity allows, don’t miss cosying up in one of UNI’s cavern-like private booths for an extra serving of romance. You know a menu is going to be great when it’s been put together by an ex-Nobu chef, and UNI certainly does not disappoint on this front. Rolando Ongcoy has created a tantalising selection of dishes which pay homage to the traditional Japanese fare we all know and love, whilst also adding a subtle Latin American twist that sounds like it shouldn’t work but really does.
We were pleasantly surprised to see this deceptively spacious eatery bustling on a Monday evening, and now we know exactly why! Couples and friends feasting on beautifully presented Sushi, Peruvian Tiraditos and Grills create a vibrant atmosphere (and provoke some serious FOMO when trying to decide what to eat). Named after the Japanese word for Sea Urchin (a delicacy so we’re told), we started our journey into the heart of Japanese/Peruvian fusion with a Seabass Cervice. Wonderfully colourful, tangy and light, our host mixed the vibrant bowl of Red Onion, Sweet Potato and Peruvian Corn at the table before serving it delicately on our individual duck spoons – truly tempting and an enjoyable personal touch. Meanwhile, our side of Edamame kept things traditional and provided a lovely counterpart to the zingy Cervice.
Our Sushi dishes came in the form of a deliciously fresh Sake (Salmon) and Maguro (Tuna) Nigiri duo, followed by UNI’s signature Crazy Rolls filled with punchy and sweet Snow Crab, Avocado, Cucumber and Seared Salmon. The Nigiri and Maki were of the highest quality, ensuring an incredible melt in your mouth Sushi experience – not to be missed. Our accompanying cocktails were divine and matched the food perfectly – we particularly enjoyed the exoticly sweet Chili Mojito, packed with Coconut, Rum, Mint and a spicy Chili kick that danced on the tastebuds after each mouthful of buttery soft Sashimi. The presentation of the dishes at UNI is a spectacle in itself, making it hard to get through a meal without photographing each and every bite!
The Robata Grill is an insightful addition to the menu as it almost looks out of place amongst the delicate Sushi and Tempura, however the Grilled Baby Lamb Cutlets we enjoyed were coated in a delicious Miso Anticucho sauce made with yellow and red Peruvian peppers, flamed saké and soy (amongst other things), creating a truly exquisite plate of food, and the epitome of high-class fusion. The standout dishes however, came in the far simpler form of moreish Popcorn Shrimp and saucy Nasu Miso (Aubergine with Sweet Miso). These dishes showcase a different side of UNI’s talented kitchen through the sheer nature of their simplicity; no need for unnecessary embellishment or confusing ingredients, the quality of the food and insight of the flavour combinations speak volumes for themselves. The sweet, sticky pulp of the grilled Aubergine is a cut above other Nasu Miso tried elsewhere, whilst the hot, crispy tempura batter coating the Shrimp is cut beautifully by the Creamy Spicy Mayo and Ponzu Dressing on the side. Enjoy with a tart lime Margarita for a winning combination – warning: you won’t want to stop at just one portion. For dessert, indulge in a UNI signature Chocolate Mousse, creamy, thick and plentiful, it’s the ultimate end of the night sharer with your date.
Elegant, creative and delicious, each dish at UNI is as beautifully presented and tempting as the last. Perfect for sharing with the foodie in your life (although you might just want to keep it all to yourself), the service and fusion of flavours are not to be missed. Try the best flavours of both worlds and fear not the FOMO, you won’t be disappointed by anything on their carefully curated menu. You can’t help but be impressed by the colour, freshness, and elegance of a meal at UNI.