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Umai Saturdays at Sake No Hana

January 28, 2015

EventsLifestyleRestaurants & Bars | by Vicky Ilankovan

food-Hakkasan group.SHN.21.10.14-133 The Hakkasan empire has many strings to its almighty bow. Their acclaimed restaurants span the globe, and London is blessed with five of them. Each offering modern Asian food, we were excited to learn that Sake No Hana, in St. James’s, has just launched Umai Saturdays. Focusing on a Japanese feast where long and tasty lunches are encouraged with deliberately textured dishes.

Housed in a modernist 1960s Grade-II building designed by Alison & Peter Smith, you’ll either love or hate the ‘officey’ exterior. The interiors however are much more love thanks to Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. With an abundance of cypress wood linear structures and bamboo accents, Sake
No Hana
definitely looks the part in its modern Japanese finery. In daylight it is a vision of luminosity thanks to the tree like structures and subtle blinds. Beams of lightfood-Hakkasan group.SHN.21.10.14-196 dance around the curved room, which almost, but not quite, detract from the food.

The Umai Saturdays menu offers five courses plus still and sparkling sake for just £37 per person. We sampled the warming Shiro Misoshiru soup with wild mushrooms accompanied by deliciously nutty spinach with sesame seeds. The Suzuki Usuzukuri, sea bass sashimi with chili ponzu dressing was a zingy yet delicate delight. It looked wonderful, dainty and almost translucent, placed meticulously on the place. The sushi maki platter that followed was both generous and tasty with spicy tuna, salmon & avocado with the vegetarian Crunchy Yasai winning first prize. For ‘main course’ we opted for the Sukiyaki with Yuzu Candy Floss, which was visually showy and tasted like sweet beefy heaven. Plentiful and appetizing the menu concluded with two ‘house’ desserts. Our favourite had to be the creatively presented Sesame Crème with blackberries, edible flowers and mini meringues. Not overly sweet, easy on the eye and exactly what you might expect from Graham Hornigold’s awarded pastry kitchen.

Umai Saturdays at Sake No Hana start on Saturday 31st January and we urge you to book now! The menu is inspiring, delicious and thoroughly generous. The Shirakabegura ‘Mio’ sparkling sake may not have been to our taste but the Akashi-Tai, Honjozo certainly make up for it. Perfect for a Saturday in Mayfair, the experience left us elated, fed and happy. With the Royal Academy and Fortnum & Mason near by, the day could well be concluded at Duke’s for the best martinis in town.


Alicja McCarthy