While London may crammed with the izakaya (Japanese pubs to normal folk like you and I) clan, there aren't many as humble, bright and brimming with skewer bites like Jidori in Dalston.
When I say humble when it comes to Jidori, I mean simple and not in an insulting, IQ fashion. Perfectly minimal in their interior production, Jidori boast an izakaya that feels strictly back to basics, giving the space back to the people within it, rather than cramming it with furniture and nooks that detract from the dining. While perching on a stool by the bar wasn't technically the most comfortable spot, and Jidori could do to fluff up the stool padding, getting a view of their bespoke Kama-Asa Shoten grill and hindsight into the work of the kitchen was well worth it. And i'm not a fussy mare.
While as a veggie, my approach to the menu felt a little stunted; Jidori's name is a type of Japanese chicken, so the emphasis on it is clearly warranted. That said, our selection of skewers made for the ultimate dinner of picking at plates. While I had the aubergine with miso butter (£3.5) and the king oyster mushroom (£4), my ploughing pal dived into minced chicken alongside a katsu scotch egg (£5) and sushi rise. While I felt the aubergine to be a little lacklustre, the king oyster mushroom skewer was a supreme being of notable seasoning and a plump edge. If meat eaters order anything on the menu, it's the katsu scotch egg. Colourful and destined for great things, this unique fusion of countries and flavour is a few mouthfuls of rich bliss.
While I loved our mains, and the cocktails of a Shiso Collins and Umeshi Fizz were diced with delicate flavours and spirits, I really can understand why the main buzz behind Jidori seems to be sitting firmly behind their dessert of ginger ice cream, miso caramel and sweet potato crisps (£5). Mellow, and slightly perfumed with a saccharine buzz from the miso caramel, this dessert deserves the utmost praise, and prizes and a parade...with its own float.
Through all of their latest Standard articles and foodie publication reviews, Jidori has clearly been earning itself a fast and deserved rep since opening, with the whole restaurant packed come Saturday evening. With the interiors not smacking of intrusion, and the general buzz of a humble dining tone alongside a fiery and fun kitchen, Jidori was perfectly primed for a meal that didn't make us rush.
With owners that boast a fond and clear affiliation with Japan, while still giving their restaurant a distinct Dalston edge, Jidori is a firm favourite of mine now, even if just for that dessert.