Have you ever heard of Koinobori? Golden week?
Possibly. Possibly not. Don’t worry, you’re excused.
This Japanese festival is a celebration in two parts. Firstly it's a tribute to the greatly respected koi carp; a fish which struggles a constant upstream battle through life and succeeds. Secondly, this celebration revolves around Children's day; and in many ways a child's life follows that same struggle into adulthood, so the two go hand in hand. Or hand in fin. It's all very nice and wholesome trust me.
And so to celebrate Golden week and Koinobori, Sake no Hana (part of the Hakkasan group and specialist in Japanese fine dining) have a special set menu running until May 11th which you don’t want to miss out on.
At £52pp, it's not cheap and certainly a treat, but, you are going to leave full and happy as the menu is pretty extensive. And for a four course menu a heartbeat away from Green Park and The Ritz? It’s quite the steal.
As a Mayfair trademark, Sake no Hana is sleek and subtle on the outside. It’s low key glitz and you'd be forgiven for walking past. But once you've gone up the discreet interior escalator and enter the actual space you’ll find that the restaurant itself is simply beautiful.
Service here is fine dining; efficient and welcoming. There’s no pretentious vibes, but a quiet confidence. Everyone knows their role intimately and take gentle pride in guiding you along each course.
To start, a white miso soup which is all about those umami profiles; earthy, moreish and lightly salted, it’s to get you in the mood of what’s to come.
A selection of sushi follows; think beautifully presented rolls and laser-cut nori. Green caviar and fresh crab goes down easily but our fave is easily the inari tofu skin pockets with caramelised onion. It’s delicious.
The mains are refined and plated with visual flare. The miso salmon with wild garlic sauce is a surprisingly favourite- I’m not usually the biggest fan of fish, but it is so delicately tender you can’t help but devour your generous portion in hearty bites.
There’s also yakitori chicken with a yuzu chilli sauce and the chicken is very good- every mouthful is simply succulent.
Dessert is often overlooked in Asian cuisine which is why I really appreciate the sweet ending note on this menu. It’s a wagashi selection of dorayaki (soft pancakes with red bean filling), ichigo daifuku (think mochi), mitarashi dango (soy sauce glaze on sticky rice balls), matcha roll (soft soft swiss roll). Everything is delicious; the daifuku is one of the menu highlights. It tastes like summer.
This beautiful menu is running until May 11th.
You can book here: