Whether romancing posh totty or seducing your little bit of rough, the Kings Road is textbook great dating ground. Potter down from Sloane Square station, pick up an Ethiopian coffee in the farmer’s market, wander into the scenic courtyard of the Saatchi, grab a fro yo, find a pub, find another, and then eat at Kurobuta.
Initially a pop-up Japanese restaurant, speedy success has now secured it a permanent spot. Let’s hope it doesn’t lose some of its anti-KR edge – caged light bulbs, basic wooden tables, chalked blackboards, plaster-coloured walls – lots of lovely industri- chic. But even if it did, even if it multiplied like Zuma and put a hostess clone at the door, nothing could distract from what is one of the most divine Japanese dining experiences in London. From sticky and moreish meat dishes right down to a simple bit of saucy veg, even the opening snacks and side dishes match up with the power players. If you can leave a restaurant thinking about their edamame and curly kale for days after, then they’re really onto something.
The man behind the menu is Nobu’s ex head chef Scott Hallsworth. I’d be surprised if anything disappointed here, though for the best date, repeat this light but filling repertoire: flamed edamame with salt, lemon and butter, yellowtail sashimi, miso grilled baby chicken, roasted Chilean seasbass and a side of green veg with sesame ponzu dip. Hold the rice and sip on sake Caipirinhas throughout. If this isn’t a date, go all out on the Wagyu beef sliders and insane pork belly steamed buns. But it is, so go back later with three friends.
Book a 7pm table on a Saturday and meet at Sloane Square at 4pm. Think of the meal as a reward after the coffees, culture, and crisp white wine on the benches of the Chelsea Potter. Once you arrive and are seated, strike up a rapport with the staff and quickly establish some informality. Spend 90 minutes enjoying the food and drink with one token cocktail each. Eavesdrop on the dates either side of you and store up some humorous digs for once you’ve left. Then do your real drinking elsewhere, in The Phene pub garden. Share a bottle and make your first move.
You might fancy one of the peppy staff members more than your date.
2. Full marks for food.