Kumo Restaurant Review

As a big sushi fan, I had been looking forward to an evening at Kumo Restaurant in Knightsbridge. My friend had been before and mentioned the sushi platters and gorgeous cocktails so I was eager to try it for myself.

After looking at the restaurant online: http://www.kumoknightsbridge.com/
I was expecting no less than a lavish Japanese restaurant/cocktail bar, and being located in Knightsbridge I was aware that the prices would be high but after reading that the Japanese inspired cocktails had been created by the creator of the “Pornstar Martini” ( A favourite of mine) I was prepared to try a few of the £10/11 delights.
Thankfully my friend owns a tastecard so we were entitled to 50% off our food for the evening (Great, I thought.. 50% off so I can order even more food!)

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The problems started before we had even set foot in the restaurant…mainly because we could not actually find the place! Although the street was easy to get to, the restaurant was definitely not noticeable from the street. As we walked down the street past numerous restaurants, each looking very tempting, there was no sign of Kumo! Halfway down the street, we turned back and decided to have a closer look..How could we have missed it!? But after cautiously checking every crevice we noticed a tiny doorway into Kumo, masked by an extremely bright glasses shop next door!

Once in, we found the staff to be pleasant, although the interior was nothing like I had expected it to be.This place is definitely more like a bar than restaurant, even though it is not portrayed as such. The waiting staff were not Japanese and although this is not a necessity, I find it does sometimes give more of an authentic feel, but perhaps that is just my perception, and following on from that I did not see the chef anyway.

The place was much smaller than I had imagined it to be with dim lights and a very relaxed bar atmosphere,certainly not that of a restaurant. I would well advise you if you are coming here, then make sure it is for predrinks and a snack rather than your main evening meal. The tables (if they can be called that – more like a stool with no cover) are extremely small and can hardly fit anything on. We ordered quite a lot between 3 people and couldn’t have all the food on at once as there was simply no room; let alone the fact that we nearly spilt our cocktails over every time we tried to get some food.

In terms of quality, the food albeit small was actually delicious, despite the slow service. The food menu features authentic dishes such as chicken yakitori skewers, spicy hibachi chicken, king prawns, monkfish and scallops as well as sushi platters.
I have to say I was extremely disappointed with the sushi platter for 2-3 people sharing. The plate was definitely platter size (and fitted nicely on the miniscule tables) but there seemed to be a distinct lack of actual food. The asparagus sushi was delightful however, as were the tempura prawn sushi and chicken skewers, we just wish there had been more. It appeared to be more like a mini starter portion and would have been enough for one person. My friends and I were still ravenous afterwords so decided to order more from the main menu!

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We also ordered two servings of the soft shell crab, one King prawn dish, one scallop dish, one spicy squid and another serving of sushi. At around £10 for each dish, we were glad that we had a tastecard and 50% off food.
The soft shell crab was full of flavour and accompanied by a tasty mayonnaise but we were a bit disappointed again by the size as our 2 portions were stuck onto one plate. The scallops were faultless, so soft and fleshy and the squid was also very moreish. The sushi was good, but distinctly average and seemed a little over priced.

Overall service was average, it was hard to flag down the waiter to get another drink and they kept taking away our menus so we couldn’t deliberate what to have next and order straight away, instead having to ask for a menu and then waiting again to get them to take the order. With regards to the food, it seemed to take quite a while to get the platter out but we were so happy to be eating we didn’t mind. Luckily my food came out quickly, (myself and my two other friends ordered two dishes each) but we found that my other two friends were waiting a long time for their other dishes. I’m not sure if this is due to the small tables and them not being able to fit the order onto the table or if the kitchen was slow. Either way it seems unacceptable for one person to have finished their food, whilst the others were still waiting to receive theirs.
What’s aggravated us most was one of the workers (didn’t seem like a waiter but was not dressed as a head of house either) asking us if we were finished as they have a limit to the times at the tables and we could move to the bar area if we had. We had not even received my friends two plates at that point, so we were definitely not moving!

After finally getting all the food we had ordered and requesting the bill we were slightly shocked by the 15% service charge they had added to the bill, something we thought was a bit excessive. When asking how the meal was, I said the food was lovely but we had to wait extremely long and the reply was that the kitchen has been so busy because of the other tables ordering large amounts of food..we had not seen a packed restaurant with lots of food coming out..and in any case if they class themselves as a restaurant should they not be able to stand this pressure?! We were however, given a free shot of a ‘sex on the beach cocktail’ before our departure to make up for this.

All in all, our evening at Kumo wasn’t bad, although this is probably more due to the company I had rather than the place. The food itself, is of excellent standards but I would definitely not be paying full price for this, and I can only imagine that it is so expensive due to the Knightsbridge location. Definitely more of a cocktail bar with snacks than a restaurant.

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SNAPSHOT:
Cuisine: Oriental
Price: About £70 per person
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Nearest Tubes: Knightsbridge

RATINGS:
food: 7 value: 4 service: 5 ambience: 5 recommend: 5

Kumo on Urbanspoon

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