Chino Latino Restaurant Review, Embankment, London
Midweek sushi with a twist? Count me in! Well, the description for Chino Latino’s new menu said ‘Pan Asian favourites combined with Latino influences from Peruvian cuisine’ – leaving me intrigued by the ambiguity of it all. So, with a long walk ahead of me from London Bridge to Vauxhall, I daydreamed about what flavoursome delights I might have. Head brimming with concoctions that mixed two wonderful cultures together, I imagined a duck ceviche (is there such a thing!?) and beef heart gyoza but stopped short at the thought of eating a traditional Peruvian guinea pig.
Based on the first floor of the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel on the Albert Embankment, the restaurant boasts panoramic riverside views and so a great place for a date if you are looking to impress. Insider tip – optimum seating is in the middle of the restaurant as you can enjoy the live music and the light pouring in from the glass windows and ceiling. We were seated to the side, which offered more intimate vibes.
We tried the Tasting Menu (£65pp) and started off with Tiger Maki and some Marinated Blowtorched Salmon alongside Duck and Watermelon Salad. As a sushi lover, I was in heaven – and intrigued by the pink sauce drizzled over the Tiger Maki, something I’d never seen before but was all for it (perhaps it was their subtle not to say they were Team Barbie over Oppenheimer!?)
Small dishes came out soon after: Vegetable Gyoza and Prawns wrapped in Shisho Leaf – again cooked to perfection, and leaving me wanting more….and that is what I could see all around me. I was eagerly awaiting the last small plate in the form of Calamari, and I could see, smell and hear the sizzle of the Casterbridge Sirloin Steak and the Black Cod coming out plate after plate to other diners….but as we watched plate after plate go by, and then saw desserts eaten and people leaving, we had to step in and ask to be fed. Whilst we waited however, we enjoyed the live music which had my friend and I stopping mid conversation to peer round the corner to watch as she sung some nostalgic classics that tempted us to get up and dance (a few more drinks in and we probably would have!)
When our food did eventually arrive, the Black cod trumped the Steak for me by far – soft, melt in your mouth deliciousness, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. We had asked for the steak to be medium rare, but it was more medium/well although still tasty (I think being served on hot coals here did not help as it was still cooking as it arrived on our table – so optimum service speed here is essential).
Desserts came in the form of a Chocolate Matcha Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream and Mochi Ice Cream – far too much matcha for my liking, but if you are a fan, then you are in for a treat.
And with the sun going down, and desserts finally eaten, The Tasting Menu had won us over! Their new Taste of Chino menu (available Monday – Friday at £24 per person) also looks worth a try. The food was worth the wait, and with full bellies my friend and I took a leisurely stroll to Waterloo station (about 20 minutes’ walk FYI) to help work off all the food we’d eaten.
Clare D’Silva, FoodNoise
Park Plaza London Riverbank,
London SE1 7TJ