If you’re trying to eat healthily for Summer but don’t want to skimp on flavour, then you’ll love UNI Restaurant. Located on swanky Ebury Street, it’s a few doors down from the house where Sir Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond lived. Inside, the decor is a stylish mix of marble and wood with cool lights made from bottles. The food itself is an unusual Japanese and Peruvian fusion, and we couldn’t wait to try it.
It’s a bit like a Tardis as it looks quite small from the outside but there are actually three floors. We were seated on the middle level and there are also a couple of cosy lower level booths that are perfect for groups. On the top floor there’s a marble bar area where you can sit and watch the chefs at work.
Head Chef Stalinberg Bergonia, formerly of Sushi Samba, has introduced a brand new selection of dishes, together with a caviar menu and a sake pairing menu. We chose the bento box lunch menu, although there are many different options including wagyu tataki beef and wild seabass with chilli shiso salsa. At £40 a head, it includes miso soup, Japanese salad, maki sashimi, 2 pieces of prawn tempura, vegetable tempura, fried or steamed rice, wagyu skewers or black cod and a dessert of mochi, ice cream or sorbet. There are also a couple of very reasonably priced bento box at £15 per person. Bento itself is a Japanese meal with vegetables, rice, fish or meat, packed in a box and available throughout Japan.
Paul had a delicious non-alcoholic Sunset smoothie to accompany his meat bento box. The combination of pineapple and orange juice with mango was a real injection of sunshine.
I loved the delicate two-tone colour and flavour of my Rose Bellini. With prosecco and rose liqueur, it was nicely decorated with a rose petal.
Our miso soup made a tasty start to our meal. It was well seasoned and opened our appetite for the main event…
My fish bento was beautifully presented in a red lacquer box. There was an appetizing array of dishes. We really enjoyed the fresh salad, which had a satisfying crunch and tasted so fresh. The sashimi were also a real hit, with the avocado being my favourite. The crispy vegetable tempura was another success, with the batter being so light and fluffy that it didn’t overpower the vegetables. As for the miso cod, it was perfectly soft, with a delicious umami-flavoured sauce.
Paul’s meat bento had most of the same dishes as my fish bento box, with the cod being replaced by wagyu beef skewers. These were so tender that he’s still raving about them!
A choice of dessert was included with our meal and I opted for ice cream. Chocolate, raspberry and matcha green tea made for an attractive combination. The flavours all worked well together, with the matcha standing out for me.
Paul tried the mochi, a Japanese rice cake that is traditionally eaten for Japanese new year. It’s an interesting dessert with a gel-like consistency, that neither of us has sampled before. The dish is quite subtle with a hint of sweetness, and doesn’t leave you feeling overfull as some desserts can.
All in all, we had a really tasty meal at UNI Belgravia and it’s a lovely little neighbourhood find. I’d love it if they could introduce some Peruvian specialties into the lunch set menu, maybe even a mix of Japanese and Peruvian.
Are you a fan of bento and Japanese cuisine?
UNI Restaurant, 18a Ebury Street, London SW1W 0LU
I was a guest of UNI Restaurant