Luiz Hara’s Nikkei Cuisine: Best Supper Club in London

“Nikkei Tai Gohan” at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

Our Rating

I have been following Luiz Hara’s Instagram account for a while, and we had exchanged several messages as we share common ground, as Brazilians who left Sao Paulo and moved abroad to work in finance. The only difference is that Luiz is far wiser, leaving the numbers world to pursue his passion for food. He went to culinary school and eventually starter doing supper clubs. He entertains several times per month, cooking either French or Nikkei cuisine. (He also just launched his Nikkei cuisine book – Japanese Food the South American Way  I signed us up for his Nikkei supper club, as I was really excited to see how he mixed his Latino and Japanese heritage with travels and culinary experiences.

Luiz is extremely organized, and a week ahead of our much anticipated dinner, we received an email with detailed instructions on how the supper club works, the etiquette, suggested wines that pair well with the food and where to order them (BYOB), tipping and so on and so forth. We were also told where to go and to be there promptly.

The supper club takes place in his gorgeous house, and his friends help him serve the food. The evening started with canapés upstairs, including leek and tofu gyoza with home-made teriyaki sauce, shichimi flavoured popcorn and a welcoming G&T.

gyoza with home-made teriyaki sauce at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

Popcorn snack at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

We were then directed downstairs, where about 30 of us took our assigned seats at either a long shared table or the smaller chef’s counter, the latter which we were very privileged to be assigned to, and could watch the evening unfold in front of our eyes. We were joined by six other guests, some were supper club rookies like us and some veteran supper club goers.

Nigiri at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

Assembly line of the nigiri trip at the best Supper Club in London

Luiz then took a brief break from cooking to tell us about the menu and the food that we were about to taste. He said “I hope you are all hungry”. We were!

“Nikkei Surf & Turf Nigiri-Zushi”: a nigari trio including blow-torched foie gras with garlic-teriyaki sauce, salmon with Aji Amarillo cream and grilled scallop Chifa-Zushi (not sure what that means…). The fish was so fresh it melted in our mouths.

at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

The searing of the foie for nigiri trip at the Nikkei Supper Club

“Nikkei Surf & Turf Nigiri-Zushi” at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

“Tamago Onsen”: 64°C Sous-Vide Egg on silken tofu, truffle-soy dressing and bonito flakes (I think…). The egg was cooked perfectly (64 degrees is supposed to be the magic egg cooking temperature) and the tofu was soft and delicious. Subtle and delicate flavours.

“Tamago Onsen” at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

Perfectly cooked egg at the Nikkei Supper Club

Chilled green tea soba noodles, deep-fried aubergines in a cold dashi broth: I think this was my favourite dish. I say ‘I think’ because I loved so many of them, and there was stiff competition between it and the last course. The noodles were mildly green-tea flavoured and I practically licked the bowl to make sure I got every last drop of the umami and very light dashi broth….sooooo good!

Chilled green tea soba noodles, deep-fried aubergines in a cold dashi broth at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

“Buta no Kakuni”: slow-braised pork belly in soy sauce, brown sugar, sake and ginger and served with pickle of cucumber a chillies. Despite the brown sugar, it was very gently sweet and the pork was so tender it could have been eaten with a spoon. The cucumber added freshness and crunch and a bit of heat from the chillies.

Pork belly at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

Melt in your mouth pork belly at Nikkei Supper Club

“Tempura”: courgette flowers filled with scallop, tofu and lemon mousse, oyster mushrooms and peppers: We each got an individual basket with piping hot and very crispy tempura. I became a tempura convert in March when we were in Japan, and this one brought on sweet memories of our fantastic trip. Delicious, with a nice twist in the courgette flowers and their mousse filling.

Tempura at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

Perfectly crispy and burning hot Tempura at Luiz’s supper club

“Tuna Tataki”: seared tuna, sesame-ponzu dressing with green salad and toasted hazelnuts: This picture can probably best describe the dish. Brightly coloured and GORGEOUS, perfect tuna slices, thicker than sashimi and seared on the outside. A generous portion covered with dressing and served with some green leaves.

“Tuna Tataki”: seared tuna, sesame-ponzu dressing with green salad and toasted hazelnuts at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

“Nikkei Tai Gohan”: I am not a massive rice fan, unless its risotto, but Luiz’s version, which is cooked in a clay pot and tossed with the sea bream, yuzu and green jalapeño dressing was absolutely delicious. In a way, it actually ended up being more like a risotto, as it was moist and somewhat goopy, but in a very good way. The fish was flaky and perfectly cooked. At this point in the meal, I didn’t think I could eat much else, but I had a full bowl, and then went for seconds… This dish was also served with fried green beans in a special sauce. They were good but the rice was better so I ate but a few of them.

“Nikkei Tai Gohan” at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

Flourless chocolate cake with Armagnac prunes and black sesame caramel ice cream, served with sweet Muscat wine: my grandmother told me once, that there is always room for dessert, and as a good kid, I took that as the law, so to me, no matter how full I am, sweets are always welcome. This version of the traditional molten cake had a nice twist with the sesame ice cream and prunes.

Flourless chocolate cake with Armagnac prunes and black sesame caramel ice cream at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

In sum: this was my first supper club and may be the only one I go back to, and even though I have no data to compare to others, I declare it the best supper club in London as there is no way anything else could be better than this. Surely! The food is superb, the ambiance and clientele very fun, and it’s very affordable and great value at £45/head (+ well deserved tip). You bring your own wine and are encouraged to tip the staff (friends), as they practically only make money from the tips. So go! It’s a great fun night!

http://www.thelondonfoodie.co.uk/ (location not to be revealed)

The kitchen table guests at Luiz Hara Nikkei Supper Club

Happy, tipsy and very full post our dinner!

The Breakdown

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