Got a night off from the kids? Sake No Hana feels special enough for date night, without the white-tablecloth formality.
Sister restaurant of the renowned Hakkasan, Sake No Hana offers Japanese fine dining in a beautiful Mayfair setting. After a drink at the ground floor bar, staff will escort you up the escalator to the light and airy dining room—the interior has been designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who has filled the restaurant with plenty of futuristic bamboo panelling and soft screens to separate diners from the bustle of St James’s Street below.
Aside from the à la carte lunch and dinner menus, Sake No Hana offer an intriguing choice of tasting menus, which are a great way to sample a range of their dishes. We went for the Taste of Sake No Hana menu (a great deal at just £31 per person—available for lunch or dinner Monday through Wednesday, then at limited times Thursday through Saturday). A white miso soup cleansed the palate to start before a succession of Japanese delicacies were served—all of them elegant works of culinary art.
We had salmon tartare with crispy prawn alongside avocado tartare with tofu, both served with ginger rice. The following course was a selection of sushi (fresher than anything you’ll get from a high street chain) including spicy chirashi maki and okura shiso maki. Our main course was a crisp prawn and vegetable tempura and yuuki dori (chargrilled organic chicken with egg mustard sauce). Dessert of the day was a gorgeous cherry and chocolate sake gateau with cherry sorbet to celebrate the end of cherry blossom season.
The signature menu (at £67 per person) is tempting, with dishes including quail with shichimi pepper sauce, snow crab sushi, sea bass with champagne yuzu miso sauce, and yellowtail sashimi with truffle black pepper ponzu.
If you’re looking for an indulgent long weekend lunch with the grown-ups, Sake No Hana’s special Umai Sushi Saturdays look fun. For £47 per person you get a seven-course tasting menu plus a cocktail and half a bottle of Louis Roederer Premier NV Champagne. As their website recommends, savouring several small dishes of contrasting flavours and textures over several hours is the authentic Japanese dining experience. I don’t think we need any more excuses—we’re there!
For more information and reservations, visit www.sakenohana.com.
Address: 23 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HA