London Restaurant Month has come back around again so myself and some friends decided to take advantage. This years venue for us would be Sake No Hana, the little sister of Michelin starred Chinese restaurant, Hakasan. Sake No Hana is modern Japanese cuisine done very, very well.
I’d had plenty of “Japanese” food in my life; sushi, chicken Katsu etc. I had never been to a proper Japanese restaurant and had high end food. This was my chance.
The deal was as follows: 5 courses from a set menu and half a bottle of wine per person. All for the princely sum of £35 (excluding service).
As you can see from the menu you pretty much get a choice of vegetables or fish. For my choices I had the maguro tartare to fukiyose, the fish gohan selection and kisetsu tempura moriawase.
First off was the best miso soup I had ever had. On the menu it is misoshiro – white miso soup. A great, light starter to get your appetite going. With small strips of inari and seaweed.
The next course was 3 small portions; a tuna tartare, fried rice ball and vegetable crisp “salad”. Much like an amuse bouche, it continued the theme of getting us ready for the main course. The vegetable crisps were lovely; earthy and crunchy. It included carrots and lotus root, which I had never tried before but very much liked. The tuna tartare was fantastic. It was peppery and brilliantly seasoned. The rice balls were a little stodgy but the accompanying sauce was sweet and rich.
Next was the sushi course. 6 pieces, 2 each of spicy maguro maki (spicy tuna, tobikio and cucumber), chirashi maki (salmon, white fish and shiitake) and inari maki (fried tofu and caramelised onions). As you can see it was beautifully presented and it wasn’t long before they’d all been polished off!
The main for me was tempura prawn and vegetables. Crispy and not at all greasy, this was the best tempura I’d ever had. I especially enjoyed the squash which was nice and sweet with that perfect crispy exterior.
Both of my friends had the salmon. There’s not a lot to say about it other than it was served on a large leaf and cooked absolutely perfectly.
Dessert was the same for all of us. A delicate sponge cake soaked in a syrup and served with preparations of peach; raw, sharp peach, raw, soft, sweet peach and peach sorbet. I was a big fan of this. So much so that when one of my friends wasn’t keen I ate his too!
Sake No Hana is a wonderful, modern restaurant with fantastic food and brilliant attentive staff. My glass, wine or water, never ran dry and they were always on hand to help. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant that had such a high customer to staff ratio! It’s definitely a dining experience I would recommend even if it’s not one that I would probably do again. Nothing against the restaurant at all, more that I like to explore and try new things. If you can visit Sake No Hana on a tasting menu or similar you would be silly not to give it a go! Either that or at least go to their amazing bar!