Blossom season might be coming to an end in the UK, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live out a floral fantasy in Mayfair. Sake no Hana has it right with their sakura pop up – designed to celebrate Japanese Cherry Blossom season – with a souped-up bar and a specially curated menu.
Celebrating both sakura by day and yozakura (‘night sakura’), the immersive blossom installation at Sake no Hana is arresting. When we stopped in on a busy Wednesday night, we found the minimal, slick bar draped in blossom branches, the floor flanked in green astro and a futuristic bamboo screen dripping techno-blossom petals. Upstairs, the formal restaurant’s iconic ceiling was threaded with blossom and twinkling lights – an ode to the Japanese tradition of hanging lanterns and feasting beneath the blossom throughout the night.
The limited edition menu in Sake no Hana’s bar begins with a Kaori Arpège cocktail, a thoroughly moreish (and undeniably potent) combination of Beefeater 24 gin, yuku sake, cherry liqueur, peach bitters, grapefruit juice and agave. But that’s not all; our inner-apothecaries were delighted by the three perfume bottle-cum-atomisers that respectively contained cherry and cinnamon, elderflower and jasmine, and violet – to spritz over the glass and transform the cocktail at each sip.
Next up came a Bento Box containing white miso soup and a selection of sushi and Hamachi, akami and salmon sushi – fresh and succulent. The Main Bento appeared beautifully presented in a clear Perspex box packed with Sumiyaki chicken with spicy shichimi sauce and crispy yasai katsu.
Between courses we snacked on seasonal tempura vegetables, buttery asparagus and dumplings, each as delectable as the last. When dessert came – in the form of cherry chocolate sake mousse and chocolate crumble with sake jelly, we were suitably sated. Until of course, the vanilla macarons with cherry blossom tea ganache appeared. After all, he who turns down the macaron must be mad.
Sakura at Sake no Hana’s limited edition menu is available for lunch and dinner in the bar and restaurant sushi counter up until 18th June 2016, for £34 per person.
Words by Annie Biziou – Lifestyle Editor