Chiswick Turning Japanese. We Really Think So.

Upmarket restaurant and sake bar Chisou makes four

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Interior of Chisou's Knightsbridge restaurant

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Another Japanese restaurant is coming to Chiswick. Chisou, which has branches in Knightsbridge and Mayfair, will open in early December in the former Chakalaka premises in Barley Mow Passage and will have a downstairs restaurant and sushi bar with a large sake lounge upstairs.

A few years ago Chiswick had no Japanese restaurants in the immediate vicinity but now there are four following the recent successful launch of Kisaku. The others are Makato on Devonshire Road and Toso on King Street.

Chisou - the name means Feast- already has branches in Mayfair and Knightsbridge, the latter in Beauchamp Place was described by Tatler magazine as " a sparkling addition to the area".

Builders are putting the finishing touches to the site and the owners hope to open the doors in about three weeks.

A spokesman said they had been building up their reputation over the past nine years and felt Chiswick was the right place for an upmarket Japanese restaurant. The idea of a sake lounge offering more than 60 varieties of the Japanese rice wine, would offer a new experience to diners . The restaurant also hopes to attract the expatriate Japanese population in nearby west Acton and Ealing.

The decor inside will be traditional Japanese, with clean and simple lines, described as "luxurious minimalism".

The owner is David Leroy, who is French but who is married to a Japanese woman. He speaks fluent Japanese and has won awards as a sake sommelier.

The restaurant promises to offer traditional Japanese cuisine with the emphasis on freshness. The dining style will be traditional ' Izakaya' which is based on the Japanese custom of sharing a selection of dishes around the table. The restaurant will open for lunch and dinner.

The arrival of Chisou comes hot on the heels of Kisaku which opened recently on Chiswick High Road. Makoto on Devonshire Road also offers a casual Japanese dining experience.

The new restaurant promises to offer a new experience with its upstairs sake bar. Sake is made from fermented rice, although Japanese people refer to 'o-sake' as alcoholic drink in general. It is made from specially-grown rice, 'shuzo kotekimai' and the fermenting process is more akin to beer than to wine. The alcohol content, at 18-20% is much higher than wine ( 9-16%) or beer (3-9%) although it can sometimes be diluted with water prior to bottling. Connoisseurs of sake test for acidity, crispness, nose and flavour notes ranging from apple and melon to caramel, in much the same way as wine is judged.

November 19, 2011

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