An open sushi bar, creatively shaken cocktails and plush velvet seats adorn the space at Rika Moon in Notting Hill. The eatery, which was opened by founder Mahsa Salehnazhad in February 2022, prides itself on ‘creating the ultimate culinary and sensory experience’, through an artfully curated cocktail menu and thoughtful exploration of flavours.
The food brings oysters from La Rochelle, scallops from the Orkney Islands and an array of thoroughly Japanese umami flavours to spearhead its ‘fusion’ approach. Favourites are the Hokkaido scallops and asparagus kushiyaki with soya garlic butter, topped with intensely sour umeboshi sesame; and a melt-in-the-mouth sashimi platter, served omakase-style, in the spirit of this slice of Japan in Notting Hill.
Paul Greening (who formerly led the kitchens at London restaurants Aqua Kyoto and Novikov) is heading the culinary team as executive chef. His adventurous approach to cuisine is evident in his explorations into pickling, fermentation and wild foraging, as well as the various culinary roles he’s undertaken throughout his career, including as development chef at Burger & Lobster.
With this robust expertise under his belt, the dishes he’s designed embody a playful approach to food, such as taking zesty hamachi ceviche and combining it with kombu dashi coconut broth. Ceviche has origins in South America and Europe, with ancient Incan and Spanish-Muslim cultures at play in its history. Alongside pickled vegetables and coriander, the dish boasts a rich knowledge of flavours.
Built across two floors, the space has been curated by Salehnazhad with a holistic experience in mind. Two rooms set varying atmospheres, with one more cosy setting on the lower floor, and a private dining room for two in the back, more suited to intimate evenings, and a dining room on the upper floor, with wraparound windows for daytime cocktails and light lunches.
The restaurant is also a London cocktail destination, with a menu catering to an array of palates. With matcha, sesame and shiitake on the list, the stage is set for intrigue and the playful journey in taste ahead.
Martha Elliott is the Junior Digital News Editor at Wallpaper*. After graduating from university she worked in arts-based behavioural therapy, then embarked on a career in journalism, joining Wallpaper* at the start of 2022. She reports on art, design and architecture, as well as covering regular news stories across all channels.
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