So, what do we need to know about Jidori?
It's the latest restaurant from Brett Redman (Elliot's, The Richmond). Here he's teamed up with Natalie Lee-Joe, a former creative strategist at Saatchi & Saatchi for whom this is her first restaurant.
Where is it?
Just by Dalston Kingsland station on Kingsland High Street.
Where should I sit?
If you're a group, there's a section at the back where tables can be grouped together to accommodate you and we liked our window table, but if you're after a view of the action, you'll be wanting a seat up at the counter, overlooking Jidori's custom-made Kama-Asa Shoten grill. When we went on a Tuesday it was nicely busy with everyone from families to groups of friends popping in for a cheap and cheerful mid-week supper.
Where should we meet friends for a drink first?
There are a lot of options, depending on the day of the week. If it's Wednesday to Saturday there's B.I.B just round the corner for a decent glass of wine. Good cocktail spots include High Water, Dalston Superstore and Birthdays.
And the food?
The menu is blessedly short so really the ideal thing would be to come as a group and work your way through it all. The two of us did our best and didn't have a duff dish between us. And although this is, first and foremost, a yakitori restaurant, you'll really want to try as much as you can of the small plates section. Of what we had, standouts were:
Kori fried chicken (£6) - insanely addictive wings, marinated in fermented rice and dusted with nori salt.
Katsu curry scotch egg (£5) - reason to make the journey here alone. Made with minced leg meat of chicken, shiso, spring onions, panko bread crumbs and chicken skin and served with a curry dipping sauce.
Salmon tataki (£7) - fat slices of salmon seared on the gril and served with a delicious ponzu and wasabi dressing
Tsukune (£4.50) - minced chicken kebabs served with egg yolk and soy
But what you are going to need to make room for - and don't make the mistake we did of thinking to share it - is the dessert. Jidori's ginger ice-cream, drizzled with miso caramel and topped with shards of sweet potato cripss and black sesame (£5) may be the best end to a meal we've had this year so far. Outstanding.
What about drink?
We kicked off our dinner here with two refreshing cocktails (Ginger Nnja and She So Into You) - both of which were £7 and then it's a choice of sake and beers, including our favourite a Nilgata Japanese craft beer.
I'm not sure why we took so long to get round to trying Jidori (it opened just before Christmas) because now we know what a (relatively) cheap and cheerful spot it is, we're bound to be back. We had a lot of fun, the food was great and everyone who served us was just lovely. What's not to like?
Jidori is at 89 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB Find out more about Jidori.
Hot Dinners were invited to Jidori. Prices were correct at the time of writing.