Cubé: Maths gone wrong (September 2017)

Does London need another over-priced sushi restaurant? Admittedly good Japanese food is never cheap and Cubé (an irritating name that made me think of maths) has tried to go for a twist on the conventional by offering tapas as well as sushi, but I certainly didn’t come away from here in any sense wowed. I think the problem is one of identity: it’s not clear what Cubé wants to be: classic Japanese or something slightly different and more trendy, hence the dissonance throughout our visit. The interior is a clear homage to the traditional – think simplicity with wood panelling and open view into the preparation area – and should diners wish, they can witness an exquisite performance from the chef in action with knives and all. However, from our table on the edge of things, the atmosphere felt somewhat muted throughout the evening, even if the place did fill up and the staff tried their hardest to be friendly. The food started promisingly with both the cold and hot tapas dishes impressing: a succulent spicy tuna tartare and ibercio pork steak demonstrating the kitchen’s prowess from different ends of the spectrum. Our six tapas dishes (for our party of three) arrived swiftly and were similarly ingested with speed. There was then a very long wait for the sushi, which was, well… pretty average, almost an anti-climax given the anticipation. We also received poor advice from our server as the sushi portion was vastly insubstantial for our group, necessitating a second order for more and then another wait. Had Cubé perhaps thought about it, then more tapas – their differentiator – and less sushi might have made more sense – even if the metaphorical horse had clearly already left the stable by this stage. A £60+ bill per person (when we were only drinking beer) also seemed steep. Best characterised a work-in-progress; there is potential here, but I would rather be spending this sort of money at nearby Ikeda or Sakana-tei.