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Food and flowers bloom as Sake no Hana celebrate Spring

Until 10th June, Sake no Hana, the Japanese restaurant from Hakkasan Group, will be celebrating the arrival of Spring and the Japanese cherry blossom season with an art installation created by renowned British artist Rebecca Louise Law. The breath taking installation will envelop the restaurant ceiling, creating clouds of natural, preserved white flowers each entwined with Law’s signature copper wire. The artwork will honour the Japanese sakura season and Kengo Kuma’s architectural design giving guests a feeling of tranquillity as if sitting beneath blossom trees.

Arriving at the restaurant in its prestigious Mayfair location, the setting is as glamorous as you would expect. Bentleys line the street and as soon as you enter its doors the star treatment begins. Our coats were taken at the entrance before being led to the beautiful dining area. The cherry blossom is instantly noticeable, adding a distinctive new dimension to the room — as well as the perfect Instagram shot. After being seated and tearing our eyes away from the floral display, we were able to notice the cheery-scent filling the room; we had only just arrived and immediately all of our senses were being worked. Swiftly after this our waiter arrived and offered an explanation for the new look and menu offerings.

The first item presented at our table was Shiro Misoshiru. The soup; a combination of tofu cake, spring onion & wakame serves at perfect palate cleanser. It was light and refreshing whilst possessing a rich, salty flavour which worked beautifully with the sweet wakame. After enjoying the Shiro Misosiru it was time to for some sushi. Presented in a beautiful transparent serving box– resembling a miniature display cabinet –was a mixture of nigri and maki including a special bamboo leaf wrapped piece of sea bass. The sushi was fresh and beautifully constructed. Being one of several courses I was surprised at the generous amount of sushi provided; there was 8 pieces in total which alone would cost a considerable amount in similar restaurants.

For the main course diners are given several options including rib eye beef sumiyako, tempura moriwase, salmon with champagne yuzu miso and agedashi tofu toban.  I opted for the rib eye with a beautifully cooked piece of beef served with chilli ponzu. On its own the meat was rich and delicious but when drizzled in the chilli ponzu it completely changed and enhanced the dish. At first the sauce gives off a zesty flavour but just moments after it opens itself up to a spectrum of complex flavours including the subtle chilli kick.

The final dish of the meal was a superb cherry chocolate delice. This was another dish with a combination of contrasting flavours beginning with the bitter flavours of the chocolate instantly played against the sweet and sour flavours of cherry. I am usually not a huge fan of Japanese desserts but found this dish interesting and beautifully presented with some sakura jelly. To accompany the delice guests are provided with another hit of cherry via the included cocktail hanami. A delicate mixture of akashi-tai honjozo sake, belsazar white vermouth, cherry liquer, bold aperitif and lavender bitters offer a sweet and fragrant way to round of the delicious feast!

Sakura At Sake No Hana provides a beautiful, creative, fun and authentic Japanese meal which excites all of the senses — it definitely needs to be experienced to be appreciated!

Sakura at Sake no Hana limited-edition menu items available for lunch and dinner in the bar and restaurant 20th March to 10th June

Words by Jack David

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