As we entered the centrally located Chino Latino, we were impressed with the stylish interior, which combined with the aroma of freshly cooked delicacies for a stellar first impression. Anticipating the difficult choice ahead, we got stuck straight into the extensive menu and began to whittle the list down to a few irresistible treasures. The kitchen team’s fusion of pan Asian flavours and ingredients with Latin American flair makes for a perfect dining experience, whether it’s for a special dinner à deux or a group celebration, for which we recommend the chef’s table experience.
Sushi and sashimi are among Chino Latino’s specialities, and are perfect as starters or mains. The variety of sushi on offer appeals to a wide range of tastes; it’s expertly prepared and artfully presented. Surf and turf rolls with shrimp and sirloin, and the tiger maki comprising prawns and crabmeat were particular highlights during our visit. The blow-torched salmon roll with avocado and cucumber is enhanced by jalapeño mayonnaise, bringing an unexpected dash of Latin American flavour to the subtle umami of Japanese cuisine. Following my sushi starter, I sampled the sirloin steak, which comes on a hot rock and continues to cook at your table for an added layer of theatre and anticipation. The steak cooks slowly, evenly and exactly to your liking, and comes with a soy marinade that you can subtly drizzle or douse your steak in – it’s the perfect meal for those who like their steak just so. A variety of alternatives – from duck breast and Korean pork belly to black cod and seared salmon – had us planning a return visit before our starters had even arrived.
Attentive and informative staff are always on-hand to answer your queries and talk diners through the menu. We were particularly keen to get their opinion on a wine pairing, as we never know what tipple to enjoy with Japanese cuisine. In our instance, our server’s recommendation was a light and subtle French red, which naturally complemented the soy-glazed sirloin and brought out the smoky flavours of the salmon. The meal ended with fragrant lemongrass panna cotta finished with strawberry gel, finely sliced dried strawberry petals and strawberry sorbet. What a perfect way to round off such a feast.