So this will be the first in a rare series of posts we’ll write, where one of us goes solo to a restaurant. To be fair, it’ll mostly be me, Amen, writing these, because its an opportunity for me to go to fish intensive – in other words, sushi – restaurants that serve little to no chicken dishes. This first excursion came about because Shiima was going out for a meal with her lady friends and I was left abandoned! Haha. I decided to go to one of the restaurants Shiima and I had looked through over the past month but decided against because of the menu, and before I even begun Shiima reminded me of Sake No Hana, which is a restaurant she was quite sure I’d really enjoy. So I called, made a reservation for one at the sushi bar, and I had a date … with meself ha!
Sake No Hana is a modern Japanese restaurant in Mayfair – about six minutes walk from Green Park station. There are two entrances, and if coming from he station, you’d walk past the entrance to the bar first. I wasn’t looking for the bar, well not that bar, so I walked ahead to the restaurant entrance. I was welcomed by a couple really nice maître ds, one of who I’d spoken to confirm my booking so soon as I spoke they knew who I was – as its peculiar to have a reservation for 1 on a Friday night. I was led up the escalator by a waiter and was seated at the first available seat in the L-shaped sushi bar. It was at a corner of the room, so I couldn’t really take in the restaurant, but it had modern furnishings with a cool bamboo centric decor and good lighting – some restaurants prefer dark, almost club like lighting, but Sake No Hana doesn’t.
I was handed the menu by another really cheery waiter, and it didn’t take me long to decide. I went for Salmon and Fatty Tuna Sashimi, Aburi Salmon tartare, Aburi Salmon Crab Maki Roll, Black Cod, and the Slow Cooked Pork Belly. I was very pleased with my order, but in my haste I’d forgotten to take advantage of sitting just in front of the sushi chefs and watching them do their magic, and it was certainly magical and salivating. I wanted to change my order so many times, but I wouldn’t have known where to begin. And then it was made worse by the chefs being extremely engaging and very ready to recommend dishes. I told one of them my order and you could tell he was thinking, “you could’ve done so much better, buddy”, but then there is always a next time 🙂
My Sashimi was as expected; fresh and succulent raw salmon and tuna. I wasn’t given any ginger to go with it, which I was told was intentional by a sushi chef, although if I wanted ginger, he’d be happy to provide. The Aburi (seared) Salmon crab Maki was really good too; a mix of two things I love, seared salmon and crab tempura. Then the best dish on the menu, the aburi salmon tartare … damn, it was good, really good, the best tartare I’ve ever had. The salmon was lightly seared and it was mixed with tobiko, miso, and ikuro. Really can’t wait to have it again. The Black Cod was also really good, fresh flaky fish grilled to perfection with chilli miso, which was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The pork belly was my least favourite dish, but it was good, I just think I was greedy to order it 😁. It was melt in the mouth tender though, and well spiced.
You’d think I’d be really stuffed after all that, and I was, but I had to look at the desserts. Now, to be fair, I wasn’t really enticed by any dessert on the menu, but I rarely am at Japanese restaurants, I don’t think it’s something they do well for my palate, so I went for two scoops of vanilla ice cream 🙂 and that hit me just right.
Now to conclude, it was an amazing experience – the food, the service, the setting, and watching the sushi chefs work – but it was expensive, like, prepare yourself expensive, especially if you have a large appetite like me. But if you’re good with that, I’d certainly recommend; for a date, a special occasion, or a solo excursion if you’re a breathless foodie like I am.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Amen’s Star Dish: Aburi Salmon Tartare
Price: £50+ (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Sake No Hana
23 St. James’s Street
London, SW1A 1HA
Call to Reserve