Dining with views of London is kind of having a moment isn’t it? Especially in London. Why have a boring meal looking at your partner/friends when you can be looking at gorgeous views of the city?! So when my chef friend Omar Romero Quezada told me he was opening up a restaurant on the 23rd floor of the Hilton London Metropole, I couldn’t wait to try it out. A couple of weeks ago, when the kids were staying with my in-laws for the weekend, Husband and I headed to Kojawan for a long, boozy lunch.
Kojawan is a futuristic restaurant that serves Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese fusion. I love Japanese food, but am new to Korean and have no idea about Taiwanese cuisine. So I was a bit nervous about the menu. Not for me, but for Husband who prefers a roast dinner to sushi any day of the week (in fact, he doesn’t eat any fish whether it is cooked or raw). It turns out that I needn’t have worried. There is loads of delicious food, no matter what tickles your taste buds.
First of all, we did not eat any of the mains. We shared booze food, starters and desserts. Booze food is basically the snacks you would get if you are just going to Kojawan for drinks. But they also make a great compliment to the starters. We enjoyed the crunchy cabbage, crispy chicken, zucchini fries (which are courgette chips, and they are amazing) and hot cricket bombs. Yes, those kinds of crickets. The cricket bombs are basically fried cheese balls with crickets inside, plus there are some crickets on the side that you can sprinkle on top.
Next, we tried the rice sandwich (like a crab sushi), pork belly and octopus. Octopus is one of those things I always order when I see on a menu, and this one did not disappoint. I could have easily eaten the entire plate, but I shared, reluctantly. Octopus is not to everyone’s taste, but if you like seafood then you should give it a try.
Then it was time for dessert. The thing is, whenever I normally go to a Japanese or Korean restaurant, I don’t get pudding. I have tried before, but I always feel like I’ve wasted some calories. And even though I felt pretty full, Omar insisted we try some items from the ‘sweet spot’ section of the Kojawan menu. So we finished our meal with a pantako, mini slushy bubble teas and the taipei block. And honestly, they were all really lovely. The pantako is a fresh and fluffy pancake while the taipei block is a fudgy peanut butter cake.
I cannot say one bad or mediocre word about the food as everything was gorgeous. And happily, the drinks did not let the food down. Besides fab cocktails creations, I was thrilled to try a pint of Kirin Ichiban that had a frozen head. I am not a big beer-drinker, but I really enjoyed this. I also found a new love – plum sake. So delicious and I could easily drink this all day long. And if you are a fan of wine and cocktails, Kojawan offer a 2-4-1 Happy Hour everyday from 11.30pm to 12.30am.
Normally such great views come with a high price, and to be honest Kojawan was not cheap. Though it feels better knowing that Kojawan pay their staff a fair wage (enough so that tipping is not even required). So, if you’re planning to go to a high-end London restaurant that offers amazing views of the city, then you won’t be disappointed with Kojawan. The decor is cool (like you’re on a Japanese spaceship), the food is delicious and the service is attentive (and already paid for).