SAKURA AT SAKE NO HANA
Sake no Hana, London
Exquisite Japanese food in the heart of Mayfair
I have wanted to try Sake no Hana for what seems like an eternity. It was taken over by the people who run Hakkasan and Yauatcha (both fantastic restaurants) in 2011 and the hype has been big.
We kicked the evening off with a welcome cocktail at the elegant ground floor bar, Ni Jū San, which in itself has become a destination if you don’t fancy gliding up the flowing escalator to the restaurant proper. We tried the Amaranthine, a delicious – almost healthy-sounding – concoction made up of blueberries, fig, grapes and vodka.
Once upstairs we were greeted by what seemed like dozens of attentive and eager-to-please waiting staff, who, once we glimpsed the long and slightly confusing menu, were happy to talk us through it and recommend dishes – all of which were great.
We started off with tempura snow crab, munched on eight different kinds of nigiri sushi, which was prepared to order at the open bar, we then devoured succulent duck and so-tasty venison before finishing off with a stunning chocolate dessert which had been decorated with edible diamantes.
While dinner is a more on the expensive side and not an everyday pitstop, executive chef Daisuke Hayashi, a protégé of Yoshihiro Murata – Japan’s highly respected Michelin-starred chef, has created reasonable set lunch menus priced from £11 to £22.50, each comprising of a main dish, miso soup and rice, which can be enjoyed within an hour.
Video: The best Japanese restaurant!
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