Freak Scene x Beer52

An explosive celebration of Japanese culture


Freak Scene is another of those amazing London restaurants which garnered a cult following as a best-kept-secret pop-up, before moving into hip new premises with a greatly-expanded menu and a ready-made word-of-mouth frenzy. And wow, it’s well deserved. Formerly head chef at Nobu (yes, that Nobu) Park Lane and Nobu Melbourne, Freak Scene founder Scott Hallsworth brings all of his gastronomic experience and virtuosity to bear at his new venture, with exciting contemporary Japanese/Asian grazing-style food, served up in its spiritual home of Soho.

There’s a real joy in Japanese culture here, expressed with fun and irreverence, as diners are treated to a sensory riot of artwork, retro posters, eccentric decor and screens showing Japanese gameshows on a loop. This is absolutely reflected by the confident and creative menu, which embraces the eclecticism of modern Japan and runs with it; tuna sashimi pizzas with truffle ponzu, anyone? It gets away with such flamboyance though – the ingredients are first-class and the cooking predictably masterful.

Having spent his career to date impressing critics, wooing celebrity fans and making his name in the hyper-competitive world of contemporary Japanese cuisine, there’s a strong sense that Matthew has given himself license to have fun here and has invited all of us to join him. We say: long may his freak flag fly.

Creating the beer Chris J.J. Heaney

“We tried to reflect some classic Asian iced tea flavour combinations in this beer, to create something super-refreshing, with lots of floral, fruit, tannic notes. Yuzu is very popular in beer just now, and with good reason – it works phenomenally well, and really lends itself to food pairings. We decided to go for a New England style to give it a nice, rich, yeasty body to match the chewy fruit character.”

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