Hashtag Life visited Sake No Hana, Green Park, London and dove heart-first into their enticing and delectable creative menu! Firmly cemented as one of our favourite London restaurants, this member of the Hakkasan group really steals the show. Here’s why:
Stepping into Sake No Hana ushers the same feeling that you have when you step into a futuristic building for that all-important interview you know is 10 times out of your league but the place you want to tell all your friends and family you finally work at. Think the Devil wears Prada or Grey Enterprises if you will.
I was led up the stairs escalators by a beautiful lady in the red who complimented my dress. I don’t know if this was a moment of irony or pure luck as I had felt so shabby at the end of a stressful workday, walking into this glamorous capsule of Japanese art and cuisine.
When you take a seat on the first floor dining hall you quickly realise that this is no regular restaurant. Here is where the truly stylish come to play; looking around me I could see businessmen but also young girls catching up with their friends celebratory dinners and of course date night for which the organiser deserved extra brownie points. The interior is exquisite, crisp and refined. It is elegant and expensive without being ostentatious or over the top. So much so that even in my end of day work clothes I felt like a welcomed party.
This was further cemented with the help of Majid, A vibrant and bubbly professional young waiter who made us laugh and relax without fail between each order that we placed. Then there was Spiros, a Greek Sommelier who I asked about three times to conjure up a Greek wine for me but alas none were on the menu. Instead he encouraged us to challenge our conceptions of the wines we favoured for those which I knew would pair well with the dishes we had ordered. As much of my mother as I have realized I am in my sense of conviction, Spiros helped me truly appreciate the value of pairing wine with your food, to perfection. I now understand the impact that a wine better suited to the dish you are trying will have on your experience. For that I thank Spiros for his patience and guiding us through an extensive choice of wines which would suit both our palates and the incredible menu which we had chosen from.
The menu is diverse and caters to every taste and even every diet so there is no excuse to be without preference when ordering. You have every excuse to be spoilt in choice however as the menu is long – twelve pages long to be precise. With a little help from my friends, The superior staff at Sake, we were able to narrow the dishes down to something which wouldn’t translate into a serious, food coma, only a slight one.
So, as extensive as the menu is there are several dishes that I just can’t do without and so, they have cemented the many repeat visits I will be paying to Sake.
The Aburiaki Nigiri – five kinds of seared sushi is divine. The quality of Sushi produced here at Sake is unrivalled in London. That is a bold claim, I know, but just go ahead and try it so you can come back and agree with me in newly-besotted fervor. The dish comes with a variety of salmon, shrimp and tuna sushi with truffle and caviar garnishes and it is divine. The next dish, is another dish that London’s Japanese restaurants are ridden with but you cannot fault here, the Hamachi Usuzukuri, or, Yellowtail with Truffle and Black Pepper Ponzu. The Yellowtail is so succulent, despite the thin slices which are usually presented in this dish. The truffle is aromatic and pungent – superseding even the ponzu flavour. The soy stir-fired mushrooms are worth trying, as is the lobster salad with a zingy and tasty Yuzu Sansho dressing.
The charcoal grill is not to be overlooked here – it can be tempting to go for the more intriguing dishes, but I say, at Sake, keep it simple! These dishes are huge, filling and fulfilling – high quality meats and fish with spectacular presentations and paired with the perfect garnishes. The Chilean Sea Bass with champagne yuzu miso sauce is royal – the Seabass crumbles into the champagne yuzu which is creamy and light – avoiding being too overpowering for such a large dish. Likewise the Char-grilled Lamb Cutlets are soft and meaty beneath their teriyaki glazed, and huge in size. There are so many more dishes I wished I could try, so let me list the ways in which I love Sake’s endless menu: The spicy char-grilled Alaskan crab and char-grilled Wagyu beef with garlic ponzu look phenomenal, although the latter does come at a whopping £89. I suspect its worth breaking the bank for however. Maybe save it for a special occasion, or even better, an apology-meal your partner is paying for.
Another thing I need to learn to pace myself for is dessert, which recently, I’ve just been unable to muster up the stomach-space for anywhere. This was definitely a repeat offence on our visit to Sake – the Chocolate Mousse, Toasted Rice Biscuits and Miso Caramel Sauce lingers in my memory however as I tried, very hard, to pep-talk myself into trying it. Also so enticing and a palate cleansing aide, is the assortment of icecreams including mango and green tea, cupped in envelopes of Mochi – and who doesn’t love some Mochi! Definitely a treat to save for an upcoming winter day, at this enchanting, classy, and exacting restaurant. Sake delivers everything from service, to ambience, to taste-sensations as best as any London restaurant could hope. I would recommend a visit or ten in a heartbeat.