Only in America could someone use ‘The Simpsons Movie’ as inspiration for a serious drama. Well, purportedly serious. After last week’s opener established that there’s now a dome cutting the small Maine town of Chester’s Mill off from the rest of the world, things progress rapidly from intriguing to out-and-out daft.
We’re firmly in the territory of ‘FlashForward’ and ‘The Event’ here, for better or worse. Clichés abound, few of the characters really ring true (the reverend’s comical ineptitude rather undermines his supposed ‘creepiness’) and the show’s delicate internal logic is already short-circuiting.
But none of that matters much – this is a romp with a concept so outrageous that it’s hard not to be seduced. This week sees weirdo hostage-taker Junior messing with the wrong guy, his dad Big Jim stepping into a power vacuum and the world’s lamest hard-rock station turning hard-news provider.
High Holborn is not short of places to eat, but Kintan, a pair of large rooms containing what claims to be London’s first dedicated ‘yakiniku’ restaurant, is a welcome addition nonetheless. Yakiniku is Japanese for grilled meat, and the Japanese version is adapted from Korean barbecue. It’s all DIY here: they bring you a small plate of lightly marinated fish or meat and you cook it on an electric grill sunk into table, Korean-style. The lunch set also includes rice and a cup of miso soup to start. A meal of this kind is only as good as the ingredients it begins with, and here the ingredients were up to snuff: we had prawns and chicken thighs, and both were expertly marinated, each in its own marinade. The rice could have done with a little more al dente bite, but at £13 (it would be £17 with three meats) this was an eminently satisfying light lunch. Had we wanted something meatier, we could have chosen from a list that also included pork belly, beef skirt and short ribs among other things. But you should consider letting the cooks do the cooking for you. Tofu chigae (a Korean stew served in a savoury broth) was well executed, piping hot, and ample in portion. So was sukiyaki bibimbap, the famous Korean rice dish here served with flavourful beef and just the right amount of chilli-heat. Perhaps the best dish of all was what they called ‘spicy addictive cabbage’, a Japanese-style version of the more familiar Korean kimchee, but with a shorter marinating time leaving crunchie
Venue says: “Do not miss our happy hour (everyday lunchtime as well as evenings!). It's a great deal to sample our food and drinks! Let's get grilling.”