Last weekend we celebrated my birthday with an extensive lunch at the beautiful Sake No Hana, located in Mayfair on the St. James Street. When passing the building, you don’t see much of the restaurant because of the blinded windows. But upon entering you step into a beautiful serene setting with a breathtaking interior design by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
After we left the coats at the entrance, we were directed upwards via a high escalator. It soon becomes clear, once we have passed the open kitchen, that this isn’t only about great food but also a complete experience.
The space is beautifully decorated with a dominant choice of materials, with cypress wood beams hanging along the walls and seemingly weightless on the ceilings. Geometric, perfectly perpendicular and parallel to each other. A warm atmosphere that is striking, stylish and very zen.
It is still quiet when we take a seat, we are a bit early for lunch. But when you have a look on the menu you immediately get hungry. At Sake No Hana you can order à la carte, but there are also special menus, such as the 7-course lunch menu Umai Sushi Saturday including a cocktail and bottle of champagne for £ 51 per person. A very good deal.
We chose the menu and started with a cocktail of your choice. Personally I’m not so fond of sweet cocktails, so the Velvet Haiku seemed the one for me. A cocktail with Akashi-Tai sake, Velvet Falernum, jasmine green tea, cucumber and Prosecco. Ralf chose the Natsu Medley, a mix of Diplomático Planas rum, Shiroku yuzu sake, apricot, lemon and ginger beer. A cocktail with a more tropical flavor. Very special about the presentation: the little bottle with the ice bowl inside and a straw of glass.
Our first course followed soon, Small Eat: Nasu Goma Arare – a small dish of aubergine with fresh fig and roasted sesame miso sauce. A delicious combination of sweet and light salt with a crunchy bite.
Just before the 2nd course, we got ourselves a nice glass of Louis Roederer Premier NV Champagne. Perfectly together with our next dish, Sashimi – Suzuki Usuzukuri, thinly sliced sea bass sashimi with chilli ponzu.
The dishes are small, but definitely big enough to share with two, especially when there are seven courses. Time for the third course, Nigiri Sushi – a plate with four different sushi’s: Zuke Maguro Nigiri, Amaebi Nigiri, Salmon Nigiri, Aburi Hamachi Nigiri.
The Main Course consists of several dishes that you can choose from, we chose the Sukiyaki with Yuzu Candy Floss – a dish of Rib eye beef with vegetables, tofu and shiitake that is prepared at the table. The flambéed cotton candy on top finishes it off.
If you like sake, you can also choose to order a Sake Flight at lunch. It’s not included in the menu but definitely worth a try.
We reached the fifth course: Maki Sushi – a plate filled with three different sushi: Kyuri Shiso Maki (cucumber, takuan, shiitake), Spicy Yasai Chirashi Maki (linpira, avocado, cucumber) and Crunchy Yasai Maki (pepper tempura, avocado). This course comes together with the sixth: Soup – Shiro Misoshiru, a bowl of white miso soup with seaweed.
The menu Umai Sushi Saturdays is set up slowly, in the correct sequence of courses, quantity and the time between them. I really love Japanese food and find it perfect for lunch because you aren’t so full of it. Even after these delicious six courses we were certainly looking forward to the Dessert. We both chose our own, for me the Caramalised Apple Mille-Feuille with a miso glaze served with bourbon vanilla ice cream and bramley apple. Ralf chose the Selection of Ice Cream and Sorbet, made in a Japanese way with very special flavors, such as sesame and green tea.
What a great experience we had at Sake No Hana. The Umai Sushi Saturday menu is highly recommended, both in terms of quality and value for money. Definitely a place to come back more often.
If you want to know more about this great Japanese Restaurant, or want to make a reservation, please visit their website.
Suitable for ages
Children (under guidance of a parent/carer), Adults
Restaurant – suitable for wheel chairs – lift – toilets
Address & Contact
23 St James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1HA, England
For more information about the restaurant, click here
T: 020 7925 8988
Monday till Thursday 12am – 3pm / 6 – 11pm
Friday 12am – 3pm / 5:30am – 11:30pm
Saturday 12am – 3:15pm / 5:30am – 11:30pm