BLOSSOM: I'M TOO SQUARE FOR THE SQUARE
Even though I live almost within spitting distance of the epicentre of hip Europe, Hoxton Square, I am not regularly drawn to it. I don't have the urge nor capablility to grow a Hoxton Fin, nor do I live South of the river but come up here to be part of the experience.
Hermano Primero and I pondered on creating a range of T-shirts for those of us who live around here. They would read
FRONT: I AM NOT HIP ENOUGHT TO DRINK HERE. BUT, I AM RICH ENOUGH TO LIVE HERE
BACK: FUCK OFF BACK TO CLAPHAM
It about sums up my feelings for the area and that includes the majority ( but by no means all ) of the restaurant offerings which are the very definition of style over substance.
When Blossom first opened, I dismissed it as another one of "those" places where young folk went for crappy food before getting off their tits on whatever stuff youngsters take at whatever clubs they go to. I was wrong. Hard to believe but it does happen. I was very wrong.
In fact, Blossom despite having all the cards stacked against it; location, clientele, haphazzard service, comes up trumps because they have someone in the kitchen who knows what the hell they are doing. I am sure the Hoxton Restaurant Association would have him/her shot if they ever found out. It offers a mix of Korean and Japanese dishes with good ingredients and careful, thoughtful presentation. So help me, I really like it a lot.
After last night's aborted attempt to have supper here, I was pretty keen to come back and try again today. I had planned on another solo supper but received a rather desparate text from COTY Jay Rayner who was going stir crazy after looking after his two kids for three solid days ( poor lamb ) and craved some, adult company.
So, I booked a table for 8pm and arrived a short while before Jay arrived and spent a happy few minutes staring menacingly at people wearing tracksuit tops and Bob Marley T-shirts while I waited.
Once Jay arrived and inbetween him boasting about all the name places he had just eaten at in Vegas ( even the next table complained about the noise of names crashing to the floor as they were dropped ) we ordered a huge amount of food. To begin
Nigiri of Toro, Yellowtail and Unagi
Crispy Salmon Skin & Cucumber Maki
Rock Shrimp Tempura with wasabi mayonnaise
Duckbreast and Yuzu Yakitori
Spicy Korean Lamb Yakitori
Spicy Pork Gyoza
Korean Beef Tartar with pear
The nigiri were fresh and well prepared. The frying of the tempura greasless and crisp and the gyoza just the right amount of softness to crunch ratio. The tartar was probaly the weakest. Not bad, but the pear was soft and floppy and did not offer the crunch needed to work with the beef. I also think it was overpowered by too much sesame dressing. Looked nice though.
We decided, once this lot was done, to press on with some more and ordered
Softshell crab & Chive tempura Maki
Tempura scallop and Fennel Maki
The new addition to the menu the Tempura scallop was the best of the lot, by far. Lovely sweet scallop meat with the crunch of the fennel.
With a couple of Ichiban beers each the bill was a not inconsiderable £90 inc service. But, this is rapidly becoming one of my favourite places for sushi in London.
Well worth trying, even if you don't feel the need to get down with your bad self until the early hours after supper. Of course, you will need to bring a skateboard with you.