Apr 23 2015


The reason why I wanted to go to Uni is because the Harden’s guide said it was one of the top 10 new restaurants that opened in London in 2014. My personal view is that it could not be further from the truth. Uni is a restaurant in Victoria serving Peruvian and Japanese fusion food, another restaurant that is trying to copy the success of Sushi Samba and Nobu, which arguably introduced this fusion food to London. Uni has even hired the former Nobu chef Rolando Ongcoy to recreate this sort of food.

The restaurant is located on the corner and it is quite small, designed by Andrew Martin, with a sushi bar upstairs where smaller parties of people can sit and watch the chefs cook and more formal tables downstairs, none of them very big, so it seems this restaurant can’t accommodate larger parties. The décor downstairs was quite pleasant with a slight Japanese vibe, but we were seated by a corner table under the stairs (which have gaps), which I don’t think is the best location and if any of the waiters drop any food, it could have easily fallen on us.

The food was expensive, which I don’t mind if it is worth it, but it did not seem very fresh or good. Also the waiters did not seem extremely knowledgeable and my lunch buddy did not think the service was that good. He asked one of the waiters where the asparagus (quite an average dish in itself) we ordered was from and the waiter said he did not know and will check and never came back to us.

We started our meal with King Crab Tacos, with lime, coriander, chilli & spicy miso, which were quite pleasant, but served with a strange carrot garnish and not really having that wow factor considering they cost £4.50/ each and were small. The spicy and garlic-y edamame beans (for £5 for a small portion!!!) we ordered came during the middle of the meal, which is a bit strange as usually these should be brought at the begging for people to nibble. Also this was the first time I saw garlic being added to the edamame beans, which is a bit of an acquired taste. The waiter told us they had very fresh sea urchins, yellowtail and eel and these were some of the fish we should order, which is what we did. My dinner buddy tried the sea urchin and did not finish it and thought it was not that great at all and considering it cost £14.50 as well as the fact that the name Uni means sea urchin in Japanese, it should have been.

Our meal continued with Kaiso Seaweed Salad with goma dressing (for £7.50) which I though was nicely presented and just as any other seaweed salad in any other Japanese restaurant. We also ordered a yellowtail tartar topped with some caviar, a tiny little portion for £16, which was presented on this huge plate full of ice, I guess to mask the tiny size of the portion. The tartare was served in a sauce, which was nice, but sort of distracted you from the £16 fish. The tiradito of scallops was decorated with sesame seeds, but had an unusually plain and un-remarkable taste to it. It cost £11 and had 6 small little pieces of scallop, so you were paying almost £2 for a tiny slice of scallop, which once again is just a bit too much.

We ordered 4 pieces of fatty tuna, which I thought was nice, but fatty tuna is usually melt-in-your-mouth amazing, and this tune although better than average, did not have that effect on me. We also ordered a spicy yellowtail & spring onion roll called Pirikara Hamachi as well as an eel roll called Dragon with prawn tempura, freshwater eel & avocado and the eel was masked in this strange sauce (which the waiter did not warn us about) and did not taste like eel at all, the sauce overpowered the eel, and what is the point in having a fresh nice eel roll if this is what happens.

Our main course besides the Chargrilled Asparagus with yuzu infused oil & sea salt was a US Grain Fed Fillet of Beef (with sesame, red chilli & sweet soya), an average size portion for £29. I actually thought the beef was nice and tender and cooked like we wanted medium/ rare and one of the nicest dishes of the meal. The mushrooms that came with it were a disaster though. These were shimeji or enoki mushrooms, something I frequently buy from Waitrose which are usually sold with their roots together with some soil on the roots which I cut off, but it did not seem like Uni wanted to do that and served us these roots and mushrooms attached to these roots, which I don’t think you should eat. They were also extremely watery with no taste to them at all.

Overall I did not have a nice meal at Uni at all. It tries to charge prices similar to the most expensive London restaurants but in contrast to most of these, does not deliver the food worthy of these sort of prices. Having said that I have a Japanese friend that came here and ordered a different set of dishes and was extremely happy with his meal, so maybe I just had a bad experience, and the restaurant is much better than what I thought.

Date: 23/ 04/ 15
Location: Victoria
Price for 2 people with no alcohol: £174.38 (ridiculous!)

Uni on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 



18a Ebury Street, SW1W 0LS
United Kingdom
Uni Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2.5