Kurobuta Chelsea

Restaurants, Japanese Chelsea
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
Kurobuta Chelsea

A hip atmosphere, cutting-edge Japanese dude food dishes that balance shouty flavours, indie music and cool cocktails. Surely we can't be in Chelsea?

When Marble Arch’s Kurobuta launched a pop-up version on the King’s Road, Chelsea sat up and took notice: anything cutting edge is rare in this manor. So successful was the punky Japanese joint that it eventually relocated to this larger, permanent premises a few doors down.
The new Kurobuta Chelsea has been given a bit of a polish – despite its menu of Japanese dude food and blasting indie music, tables are well-spaced (with generous, curtained booths for the lucky few), the food offering has been extended to include waistline-friendly sushi and sashimi, and there are even private rooms.
Founder Scott Hallsworth, former chef at Nobu Park Lane, has created a series of hit dishes that sound like they have been dumbed down, but which confidently balance shouty flavours. From the ‘junk food Japan’ section of the menu, the tuna sashimi pizza ­– a crisp tostada topped with wafer-thin slivers of tuna and clusters of wasabi-infused fish roe – delivered both on flavour and texture. Elsewhere, sticky cylinders of sweet miso-grilled aubergine were meltingly moreish, while steamed buns filled with thick slabs of robata-grilled pork belly drenched in sticky, peanutty soy sauce had us licking our fingers. Not everything worked so well – beef fillet tataki with shards of deep-fried garlic had a highly acidic marinade that overpowered everything else.
The bar at the front of the restaurant is a destination in itself, offering Asian beers, modish shooters with blush-inducing names, and well-judged cocktails featuring oriental booze from saké to Midori. Now that Kurobuta spin-off Joe’s Oriental Diner has taken over the previous (pop-up) premises, Chelsea’s cool credentials are on the up.

By: Nicola Arencibia


Venue name: Kurobuta Chelsea
Address: 312 Kings Road
Price: £26 to £40
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

I had such high hopes for this place, and they came crashing down, way down. Firstly their service was just the biggest turn off. We had to wait at least 15 minutes for each plate to arrive. Keeping in mind this is a sharing tapas type of place, you can imagine how irritating it is when you've saved up space to enjoy their food, and are sharing with two other people. Then their food quality, the concept gets a good job pat on the back, but maybe their cook was tired on a sunday? or maybe they were more focused on their bottomless brunch customers.. but their food lacked soul and passion. You could tell the cooking was just trying to get it over with. 


Korubtu has had a few excellent TO offers recently and I bought the 17 course brunch with unlimited prosecco.

I'd describe the interior as informal and a bit hipster. The toilet cubicles have pens for graffiti; the restaurant walls dark with pops of colourful art. I definitely had a sense that it had sprung out of a pop up/street food environment.

For a Sunday afternoon the place was buzzing but unfortunately not in a 'what a great atmosphere' way but a 'omg there are too many people' way.

The brunch was supposed to be set over 4 or 5 courses of essentially sharing plates.

Our first course came out with some welcome drinks and the first pouring of prosecco. It was amazing! The staff had been accommodating to my dislike to fish and swapped a few bits around. There were succulent beef tacos, a tangy grain salad, straw sweet potato fries with yummy spicy mayo, and some other fishy bits that my friend assures me were awesome. Unfortunately we peaked too early. We then waited over an hour for our next course, with no one even cleaning away our plates and had to nag people to fill out glasses.

The second course of DIY ramen was poor. Some cold noodles, tasteless miso and some not very crispy pork fat. This randomly came with chicken wings and then squid and octopus donuts which were all yummy.

We then had another long wait for the 'mains' and had to raise it with management. He did bring us another cocktail but considering we had paid for bottomless prosecco I wasn't massively placated. We got the food pretty quick after this but it was cold and the steak was mainly fat - I also think they missed a few of our dishes. After our first 30 mins here I really was expecting to write a 5 star review but unfortunately the service really let it down. That's not to say any of the staff were rude or unhelpful but to be honest I think they were just so busy they forgot about us. I am going to make another trip to their other branch and hope I can a review more like everyone else has left!

Absolutely fantastic food, the combinations of flavours are so inventive. Recommended!


I visited Kurobuta for a Sunday brunch with bottomless prosecco with a friend. Can you believe it was our first ever bottomless brunch? We were there on a mission - and it was to get hammered. I wasn't sure what to expect the venue to look like, considering the chef formerly worked at poshy poshy Nobu. If anything, it certainly wasn't the hip, slightly grungy vibe we got (though perfectly clean of course), and certainly not in Chelsea! We liked it though, and decided to get a seat near the window so we could take better photos. We started off with a very tasty, fruity welcome drink (said friend was suffering a minor hangover, and the only cure for a hangover, is more alcohol, obviously), as well as a nice selection of appetizers, from salted edamame beans to kimchi to tiny peppers and sweet potato chips. We were worried that the food wouldn't be enough for us, but by the time we reached the 7th dish, we were beginning to worry we wouldn't be able to finish (we didn't). Some of the other dishes included quinoa salads, a cocktail shrimp salad, mussels, a meat bun, kungpao chicken, calamari, prawn with truffle oil, maki and skewers (amongst others). We were absolutely stuffed and disappointed we didn't prepare hard enough (read: starve ourselves beforehand) so we could fully enjoy all the food. The dishes were a little on the hit and miss side though, with many of them unfortunately physically resembling the kind of Asian food you might buy off the shelf at a supermarket and heat up in a microwave at home. However, the dishes definitely tasted better than they looked, and we were finding new tastes we never knew could be attributed to modern Japanese food before. Personally, highlights included the prawn tempura, the fish, the beef tataki and a surprisingly good vanilla ice cream to end off the meal with some very sweet watermelon to boot. At some point of course, I think we had a little too much prosecco to really care what the food tasted like, and were just happy and more than satisfied with the sheer amount we had to eat (we skipped dinner afterwards). All in all, it's really inexpensive, and great bang for your buck. Don't expect Michelin star quality, but do prepare yourself to consume a ton of above average Asian fusion(?) food. 


I went to Kurobuta for brunch with two vouchers, both for 17 dishes and welcome cocktail but one also had bottomless prosecco.

I had to give the voucher details when making the reservation then present the print outs on arrival and present them again once seated which seemed excessive.

The dishes were very average with nothing stand out. I also found the use of the term 'dish' quite loose. The deserts made up 6 of the dishes and considering some of these were just a slice of fruit, I really wouldn't consider this a dish. I've included a picture of all the food we were served.

The service was also disappointing. The staff were all enthusiastic amd friendly but the service was slow and inattentive. We were never offered any water, tap or otherwise. I had to ask more than once for my prosecco to be refilled and we were charged for a cocktail that was ordered but never materialised.

The live singer, who was not announced so I don't know who he was, but he was very good and created a great atmosphere. It was an enjoyable experience but I won't be rushing back.


Just one of the absolute best of its kind!  This is probably the best place I have eaten in 2015!!  The food is perfect, so many favourites from my first visit including Flamed Edamame, Beef Fillet Tataki and Tuna Sashimi Pizza.  If you're in the area take your chances and see if they can squeeze you in like they did for us.  Fabulous food, great service, attentive staff, great atmosphere! 

Excellent modern twist on Japanese cuisine. My favourite restaurant of 2014 and one I return to at least once a month. A few oddities on the menu but awesome all the same

moderatorStaff Writer

Incredible meal - one of the best I've had in London.  Completely agree with Will B - every dish was a delight. Pork Belly buns and Wagyu Beef Sliders were incredible, as were the sweet potato fries.

Every dish was prepared with real care and attention, in each case there were layers of subtle flavour combinations that were unexpected. The Beef Fillet Tataki with Onion Ponzu and Garlic Crisps was probably the most delicious single dish I have ever eaten. The Rock shrimp tempura was covered in perfect fluffy dry batter and inside burst with a perfectly cooked briny sweet shrimp, garnished with paper thin chilli slices to give flavour without real heat and home made salty rich kimchee made for a dish that is far superior to the nobu version. I'm not much of a desert person but the deserts simply blew me away, the same attention to detail with multi layered expertly combined flavours was followed though. I can't imagine better food of this genre.

Gob-smackingly good pork belly steamed buns, attentive service. Every dish was a delight

absolutely stunning food! the flavours are incredible. each morsel leaves you wanting more and its not that expensive! a nice change to the mass of Sushi restaurants in london. well done guys!

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