mu, London E8: ‘Very decent, experimental Japanese with a side of jazz’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent on restaurants

The food is the missing link between Ormskirk and Osaka. Someone, somewhere, has really thought about this stuff

Mu, like most noteworthy restaurants, will polarise guests from the moment they walk in. Some will feel glee that it’s named after the album mu by jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, and that a small fee will be added to your bill to pay the pianist or singer who’ll begin at about 7.30pm. Others will say, “Why are you leading me into a graffiti-strewn building to eat Japanese-influenced food in a dark jazz club? Was Cafe Rouge fully booked?”

That latter group may well find mu quite the experience. As I perused the menu while Dawn Mist by Freddie Redd played over the sound system at the same time as pianist Yohan Kebede of Kokoroko was warming up for his night’s set, I thought of several friends for whom this would be a little pocket of heaven. It is a project by brothers Amit and Aneesh Patel, who also run Brilliant Corners in nearby Dalston and are behind the travelling club/sound system Giant Steps, but at mu the food is taken seriously, too.

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