After living in London for a couple of years, it’s fair to say that I developed something of an obsession with Sushi. In fact, when I moved back home to Devon it was one of the only things I truly missed about The Big Smoke. So you can imagine my delight when I was invited to try out Kuku: Plymouth’s newest sushi bar and Japanese fusion restaurant…
For those familiar with the Plymouth foodie scene, Kuku occupies the site that was once formally home to the popular Italian restaurant Morgan’s. It’s owners – the well-known Hajiyianni family – spent 3 months and an estimated 150k refurbishing the establishment and have completely reworked the buildings interior. In contrast to it’s European predecessor, Kuku’s interior is a sophisticated and contemporary space boasting a fabulous cocktail bar on the way in and an open sushi bar at the back, where guests are invited to sit and watch the chef work. Alongside these aesthetic changes, there’s also a brand new, vibrant menu of Japanese fusion food that seems to appeal to a trendy, more discerning demographic of diners..
I was really impressed with the variety of dishes on offer at Kuku. A large part of the menu is devoted to sushi – which is both sustainable and incredibly varied – however, there is also an extensive range of appetisers and main meals to try containing chicken, ribs and steak (cooked on their Japanese barbecue-style robata grill). Needless to say, if you’re a fan of Asian flavours, you’ll love the dishes on offer.
For just £30 the Kuku Sushi platter contains 28 pieces of sushi, including Ryu Maki, California Rolls, Salmon & Tuna Sashimi, Sea Bass Nigiri and Prawn Nigiri. The platter is visually stunning – eliciting an audible ‘wow’ as it came to our table – and the chef at Kuku certainly knows how to make a good looking plate of food!
Honestly, I have nothing but praise for the quality of the sushi. The fish was all incredibly fresh and I couldn’t get enough of the Ryu Maki; which contained crispy prawn tempura topped with avocado and teriyaki sauce. Likewise, the California Rolls were very tasty and the flying fish roe and tempura flakes really added to the dish.
I was also keen to discover Kuku’s take on vegetarian sushi. I’ve had really mixed veggie sushi in the past, ranging from delicious avocado & tofu rolls to very uninspiring cucumber maki. I’d put Kuku’s vegetable sushi somewhere firmly in the middle. The description of ‘seasonal vegetables’ was very promising, however this turned out to be carrot, lettuce and cucumber. Once again, they looked beautiful, but they were a tad too boring for my taste.. Without a doubt, Kuku’s seafood sushi is where it’s at!
We also ordered the Yawarakai Tempura, which contained spicy soft shell crab with sweet chilli sauce on a bed of crispy noodles. We both loved the crab and the very subtle spicy sauce, which we could quite happily have eaten a lot more of, but the crispy noodles just tasted dry. I’m sure this texture was intentional but my dining partner commented that they reminded him of dry instant noodles!
My dining partner also has a bit of a thing for scallops (he insists on ordering them everywhere we go) so the sound of the Seared Scallops with Ginger & Yuzu Dressing was too tempting to resist. These came served in pretty scallop shells and we’re both plump and perfectly cooked. They met both of our approval and I would definitely order them again.
Since Kuku also sells itself on being a cocktail bar, we wanted to try a couple of their signature drinks too. I had the Girl in Pink cocktail – a very pretty drink that is described as ‘a twist on the classic gin cocktail the Pendennis’. It was served with a sweet edible flower and had notes of stone fruit, almond and aniseed. My partner opted for the Tokyo Rising – which was not dissimilar to a Dark N’ Stormy – and this was also really good. There is also a good range of gins on offer as well as some fabulous Japanese whiskeys.
I was seriously impressed by the quality of the sushi at KuKu. I only wish I lived a little closer so I could pop in on a more regular basis! All of the food was beautifully presented and the quality of ingredients was apparent in every dish. The staff were also polite and helpful, recommending dishes and regularly checking up on us to see if we wanted to order anything else.
My only minor gripe with the restaurant was that the atmosphere was slightly lacking. In hindsight, we visited on a Thursday and we should probably have visited on a weekend, as the staff themselves noted that the atmosphere is much livelier on a weekend. However, that being said, I will certainly be visiting Kuku again and I have already recommend it to friends.
Find Out More
19 Princess St, Plymouth PL1 2EU
Tel: 01752 255579
The post KuKu, Plymouth appeared first on The Devon Foodie.