Freak Scene

91 Cowcross Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6BH
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Monday to Thursday 12pm-11:30pm Friday & Saturday 12pm-12am Sunday is currently BYO only 12pm-9:30pm

It’s a pop up for now, but we can’t see Freak Scene not finding a permanent site after this three month stint is over – here or elsewhere. Running the kitchen is Scott Hallsworth, who was formerly a chef at Nobu for six years, and set up Kurobuta (although we heard the split was all but amicable). He is enormously skilled at Japanese cuisine and when we visit in the opening week, we really can’t sense any nerves coming from the open kitchen at the back. Every dish arrives on understated, colourful plates, from a menu of pan-Asian dishes, each as mouth-watering as the other. The tea-smoked beef salad with Nam Jim is just tender loveliness, the chicken-fried chicken with peanut soy and cucumber pickles falls off the bone and strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savoury – we want to lick the plate. The tuna sashimi pizza is a kind of flat bread with thin slices of tuna and truffle ponzu, jalapeno and wasabi tobiko – a complete delight. Cocktails fair well too, we had the special of the night: a cucumber and gin based number that went perfectly with our starters. Top marks.