| Japanese | Mayfair | Website
– reservations available –
One year ago, V.A and I made a promise that we would visit Sake no Hana during cherry blossom season. This year, we kept our promise. For two months of the year, the Mayfair restaurant is transformed into a floral wonderland – Sakura at Sake no Hana. To help celebrate this special occasion several new dishes and cocktails are added to the menu. V.A and I had made a reservation for a Monday lunchtime (bank holiday) and found that it was pleasantly quiet. We both ordered the Sakura menu, which comes with: white miso soup, sesame spinach with cassava chips, sashimi bento box, and a violet risshun cocktail.
The cocktail was served first, and we were instructed to drink it in two parts – the first, a carafe of Jinzu Gin, green chartreuse, grapefruit and lemon juice, shiso syrup and Burlesque bitters. The second is a jug with Belsazar rose vermouth, maraschino cherry, cranberry and lemon juice. The bitter starter was refreshing, however it was the syrupy sweet vermouth based cocktail that I personally preferred.
The miso soup arrived shortly after our cocktail, and it was as good as any other miso soup I have had before. The sesame spinach however was a delightfully unique dish – slightly nutty in flavour, with a myriad of textures. I can’t eat raw fish, so a special bento was made just for me. It is this kind of service that I wouldn’t expect any less of from Sake no Hana. My box contained a variety of sushi, however the ones that stood out to me for their flavours were the: mango and avocado (fresh), avocado and wasabi (invigorating), crab (light), and eel (grilled perfectly).
We decided to order off the special menu for dessert, as the Yuzu Matcha Crème was just too tempting. However we did also order the sakura macarons, accompanied by a pot of sakura tea. It would seem that we have a second stomach for dessert (or as the Japanese call it 別腹 “betsubara”). It’s fair to say that this is the best dessert I have had in a London restaurant. The Yuzu Matcha Crème was a work of art – the presentation however was dwarfed by the sheer artistry of the dish itself. Matcha anglaise hid inside delectable yuzu domes, surrounded by matcha genoise and sour yuzu curd. The macarons unfortunately didn’t impress me much (the ganache overpowered the cherry blossom tea), however I would feel bad for any dish that had to follow that pudding. Finally, the sakura tea – a special blend made specifically for Sake no Hana. Oh how I wish I could have taken even a spoonful away with me. The tea smelt of cake, and tasted even better. It was a light and subtly sweet end to our visit.
Sake no Hana is not just a destination for food, it is a food experience. We paid £55 each with cocktails – in my opinion, it was worth every penny. It is restaurants like this that make my “Where to Eat in London” series so enjoyable. Would I go back? What do you think!
Sake no Hana’s Sakura pop-up is open until the 20th June – you can make a reservation here.