Andreas Labridis and Nikos Roussos, the co-owners of Greek restaurants OPSO, INO and Pittabun, have brought a bit of the Greek coastline to Marylebone with their fourth spot, seafood restaurant Kima, named after the Greek word for wave. You’ve heard of nose-to-tail cookery, Kima runs on the fish equivalent philosophy, fin-to-gill cookery. Using various fish butchery and dry ageing techniques ensures that not only do all parts of the fish get used, they get used in inventive and interesting ways, offering a wider variety of flavours and textures for us diners.
There’s a small fish counter at the entrance of the restaurant – a white, minimalist space – displaying the catch of the day, so it could include everything from bream and john dory to scorpion fish and lobster. You can select what you like the look of and then have various cuts of that fish prepared in different ways, or you can order from Kima’s a la carte menu, which features some of the dry-aged fish amongst the different dishes.
There are lots of great sounding options so it’s worth asking for some guidance – we actually let the chefs pick all our dishes for us, starting with plump oysters dressed with an umami fennel salsa and bottarga to spread with butter on chargrilled toast for a salty, citrusy hit.
This was followed by two preparations of bream; first as firm chunks in a light, lemony broth and then wafer-thin, pearlescent slices of raw fish dressed with lemon, thyme and a stunning extra virgin olive oil, a combo which was certainly dish of the night and probably one of the dishes of the year. Pleasingly there’s more of that luscious olive oil in the Greek salad, which also includes tomatoes that taste like they’ve seen plenty of sun and great hunks of feta that definitely haven’t come off a slab of supermarket cheese.
We also loved the meaty chargrilled octopus – although it’s quite punchy in price for just one long tentacle (it should be noted that none of the seafood comes cheap here) – and the yellowtail shank, where the tail of the fish has been dry aged to firm up the texture before being roasted. As the name suggests, it’s served just like a lamb shank, stood up with the bone protruding, and it’s an impressive looking thing that happily tastes as good with plenty of meat on the tail complemented by a rich, lemony fricassee of greens.
And if you’re a shellfish fan, the prawn giouvetsi – a stew typically made with meat but can be done with fish, orzo and a tomato sauce – is worth a go. At Kima it’s topped with raw carabineros prawns, giving an interesting temperature contrast to the warming orzo base.
The sea theme continues right through to desserts in the 75 dot seaweed millefeuille, where the typical puff pastry is swapped out for caramelised nori, layered with 75 (yes we counted) dots of coffee cream. It’s a genuinely interesting take on the classic pud; the savoury undertones of the nori work well with the coffee and stop the dessert from being too sweet.
They’ve got the fresh seafood and Greek wines covered, so if you need a slice of the Greek coastline (sunshine not guaranteed, unfortunately), this is the place to go.
57 Paddington Street, London, W1U 4JA