Part of starting a new business is really knowing where you stand relative to your competition and really getting into the nitty gritty of what kind of food is already part of the heartbeat of the local community; so we decided to check out the other new kid on the block (Yama Momo) to see what we're up against...
I took the journey that we really do hope that guests living all over London will make when they come down to join us at Pussey Liquor, the soon-to-be newest space in East Dulwich, where we will be plying our trade in the form of a residency in just a few weeks. It is not just important to know that we will be feeding a local community of people but that also we should appreciate what a guest has been through to make the trip from further out parts of London and so we ensure it is well worth it when guests do come down to see us.
Taking the journey from Islington to Denmark Hill on the London Overground, with a quick transfer to a bus immediately upon exiting the station, I had plenty of time to think about what to expect from dinner at one of Lordship Lane's most recently opened dining spots. The Tsunami Group, the owner and operator of the restaurant, has always done “contemporary” Japanese food and so, hopefully, we will not be competing for guests who are out for such cuisine!
A vast selection of cocktails were presented to us (note to self here....clearly good cocktails will have be on the menu!) and we ended up with some well presented drinks with straws which, even now, we are still unsure whether they were whittled from a tree or well-formed cardboard; who knows!
We shared some starters, noting the price points, and some “main courses” too. I was slightly concerned when our scallop started arrived flaming.....! Originally under the assumption that the scallop would be grilled, I quickly became aware that there was going to be a certain flair for the dramatic while I watched several dry ice-infused cocktails emerging from behind the bar (shit....this isn't going to be part of our plans, so let's give this point to Yama Momo shall we?!). Working our way through our courses we decided to end the meal with a sharing platter of various desserts which was adorned by a bubbling mug of our own with carbon dioxide emerging from it (as a result of warm water poured over subliming dry ice). Oh yeah and I shouldn't forget - somewhere in the middle was the Tsunami classic of black miso-roasted cod served on a banana leaf.
All research done, I have come to the conclusion that it is rather difficult to compare and consider Yama Momo directly with regards to our own offering. The Tsunami group have had a success in other parts of London, and we are new to the world (and neither of us are remotely Japanese) so why try to compete with them at their own game?! On a serious note though, the food was tasty and all food was well seasoned. We're going to have to keep ours as good and if not better to keep guests coming back.... so thanks for dinner guys. Anywhere else we should keep our eyes on in East Dulwich?! R.