Oct 11 2014



Kintan is amazing in every aspect apart from actually getting in and booking a table. I tried to go there for a long time. I once turned up on a Friday night and it ws fully booked, tried to call the next day, same thing, fully booked. Tried to call the following Monday, phone did not work, send an email, no response. Finally managed to get hold of them, it was full and I could not go on a Friday evening. In the end I managed to book a table for Saturday lunch, but it was a tedious process. They definitely focus on food and not on the customer experience, as even when we went there on the Saturday we had to wait to be seated for 5min until the receptionist finished a very long phone conversation and completely ignored us. However I forgot about all of this once I sat down and tasted the food.

So what is this place? Kintan is the first Japanese yakiniku-style restaurant in London, and I found out about it as my Japanese colleague Asako was very excited about it and said all the Japanese community are keen to go there. Yakiniku, literally meaning ‘grilled meat’, is the Japanese take on the Korean barbecue and one of the most popular dining styles in Japan. In Kintan and other Yakiniku restaurants you get a little smokeless table grill. You grill and cook all the food in front of you like you want it and as these tables have a subterranean smoke extraction you don’t get any of this smoke on your clothes.

We were offered different set menus or could order from a la carte and we chose the menu for £34/person, which allowed us to order 4 different dishes each to cook on this table grill, as well as rice, miso soup and a green salad were included in this price, and 2 appetizers. You could also chose a smaller set menu (choice of 3 dishes) and a larger one (choice of 5 dishes). The menu that we chose turned out to be huge, they kept bringing us food, and I had an amazing and incredible and such filling/ full-filling meal for £42/person, amazing value for money, considering I ate so much premium meat.

From the 4 dishes each we could order I chose a few and so did my boyfriend. I went for the spicy addicting cabbage (the name on the menu, not how I call the cabbage) as my starter and my boyfriend chose kimchi. The kimchi was the least tasty dish we had, it just had a bit of a weird taste to it and I usually love kimchi and here was not keen. The spicy addicting cabbage were addictive and they gave you a large bowl and we managed to finish it and it was very good. For the 4 things to grill, I chose assorted vegetables, fillet mignon and premium kalbi short rib, as well as a Sukiyaki bibimbap. The vegetables were ok, needed with all the meat but not an amazing selection. The bibimbap was amazing, but as we had so much other food, we actually did not need another filling bowl of rice, even though it was very delicious. My boyfriend chose 4 more meat dishes – premium rib eye, sirloin, bistro hanger steak, yaki shabu beef.

The grilled meat was amazing. Some of the meat was marinated in this sweet super delicious sauce and some was not, but the process of cooking it and eating it was thoroughly enjoyable. The meat cooked in a few minutes as it was so thinly cut and the grill so hot and I was surprised how tender it was. Some cheaper meat can be chewy and time and again when I have steak in cheaper restaurants I find it inedible, but here the meat was absolutely fantastic. Not sure if it was because of the marinade or something what they did to the meat, or quality but somehow this meat was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved grilling different cuts of meat eating it and having a bite of vegetables to balance it out. The rice was a nice side, the salad had a very delicious dressing and the miso soup was good too.

If I did not have the bad experience of getting it, this would easily be a 4.5M place. I thoroughly recommend you go there, if you don’t mind cooking your own food, this is such an enjoyable experience with truly very delicious food and great value for money.

Price for 2 people, no alcohol, with service charge: £84.38
Location: Holborn
Date: 11/10/14

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34 High Holborn WC1V 6AE
United Kingdom
Kintan Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4