Kaia at The Ned
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Poké bowls and robata grilled snacks served within The Ned.
At the more muted rear of the flashy Ned hotel’s ground floor mecca to eating you’ll find a bit of trend-box ticking in Kaia. It’s a poké bar you see, and it’s not the Soho House group’s first foray into the fashionable Hawaiian bowl food; they’ve also tested out much-loved street food vendors Poké as a pop-up at Shoreditch House. Here though, they’ve classed it up by throwing in a robata grill for a Japanese twist. If you’re looking for the light and bright (not to mention affordable) antidote to Cecconi’s truffle-laden grub, say aloha to Kaia.
The ahi tuna poké is the star of the show – two squeezy bottles of soy glaze and kewpie mayo are served on the side so you can dial up the flavour. Delicate flecks of raw fish, avocado and pineapple were offset with textural crunch from lotus root crisps, chunks of cucumber and nutty rice.
But a dish of robata-grilled blackened cod was less enjoyable. Considering it was fresh off the grill, this beautiful fillet of fish – tinged with char from the grill and tangy from a tarragon miso marinade – turned stone-cold far too fast, served on an icy plate. A dish of crispy prawns, garnished with pretty flower heads, did more to impress thanks to a heavenly light batter, made even more delicious when dunked in a fiery wasabi mayo (the best of all mayos, surely?).
There’s mochi to finish, to continue the trendiness, as well as the Pacific vibes. Although a bottle of The Old Nag house white didn’t feel quite so in-keeping. Maybe just stick to saké.
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £95.|
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