Sake No Hana
Sake No Hana (MMMm) – Sake no Hana is a modern Japanese restaurant in London, in Mayfair on St James’ street, and also in Dubai. It is a sister restaurant to the very famous Chinese restaurant Hakkasan. I had never been to Sake no Hana before, although I have been to all the other Hakkasan sister restaurants, including Hakkasan, but for some strange reason Sake no Hana just does not have the same popularity as the other restaurants, maybe because there are so many good Japanese restaurants in London, and the competition for a best Chinese restaurant is smaller. I ended up going there because my boyfriend got sent one of these offers to go have a set menu in Sake no Hana which included three courses plus a desert and a glass of Bellini all for £29/person.
Sake no Hana is very similar to Hakkasan in terms of décor. When you enter the restaurant, it is dark, black, just like Hakkasan, smells wonderfully of some sort of incense stick (just like Hakkasan) and in Sake no Hana you take an escalator to the first floor where the dining room is located. The escalators are very narrow and one is used to go up and another one is used to go down. The dining room on the first floor though is very different to décor in Hakkasan, it is light and bright and in typical Japanese colours. Sake no Hana was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
We had the set menu for £29/person called “the taste of Sake no Hana” but there are all sorts of other set menus available (the most expensive for £69/ person) and you can also order food a la carte and the menu features hot and cold Japanese appetizers, charcoal grill, Toban and Kamameshi dishes, and sushi and sashimi that are prepared at the open space sushi bar on one side of the room. All the sushi chefs eagerly greet you as you walk in. also in case you think we are special and you can’t get this amazing £29 set menu, that is not the case and as long as you come on Monday to Wednesday lunch or dinner times or Thursday to Saturday lunch or for dinner up to 7.30 and after 10pm you can have this special set menu, which also features in their menu (without the Bellini though – we got that because of the offer).
I can’t really say I have experienced Sake no Hana fully as I only had these few dishes from the set menu, but I have formed an opinion about this place. The first course that we had was miso soup, and we could either go for the white or red miso soups. After having spoken to the waiter my boyfriend and I both went for the red miso soup with yam croquette called “Koimo Akadashi”, as the waiter said the red miso soup had a more intense flavor, and also we had not had this before. I did think the flavour was a bit stronger than the usual miso soup has, but it was still delicate. The yam croquette was a nice addition, which I really liked. After this we decided to also order some edamame beans (not included in the set menu, so we had to pay for this extra) and I chose the spicy edamame. This was different to for example the spicy edamame in Zuma as the edamame seemed to have been covered with chilli oil or something like this, the spiciness was different, but I did sort of like it.
We had a choice of three main courses and we decided to order two of these and share them. The waiter brought us “Tori Sukiyaki Toban” or chicken sukiyaki with shimeji mushrooms, sautéed onions and tofu, as well as ”Salmon Hoba Teriyaki” or char-grilled salmon on hoba leaf with teriyaki sauce. The main course that we did not chose was mix tempura. The chicken dish was much bigger but the salmon dish looked a bit more interesting. The salmon was nicely put on a little stove and on hoba leaf. At one point our hoba leaf caught fire from the small stove and the waiters rushed to our table and removed the stove. The flavour was delicious but there was not that much to eat. I thought the chicken was very tender and I liked the shimeji mushrooms. Overall I did like both of the main courses.
Our next course was sushi and you could choose from vegetarian or non-vegetarian sushi and once again we had both and then shared it, we got “spicy chirashi maki” (vegetarian) and “crunchy yasai maki”. The sushi we got was rolls, and there were three larger pieces and three smaller pieces in each portion. I liked them, they were well rolled and I especially thought the spicy vegetarian rolls were super delicious, but there was not that much food and I also prefer nigiri sushi. The desert we got was superbly delicious “mochi ice cream”. They gave you different types of ice cream and each little piece of ice cream had sort of a crust and it was delicious.
The only negative about the set menu was that I did feel hungry after this meal and I did not think there was enough food. Whilst spending £29 per person seems like good value in the end we ended up paying £45/ person for all the food, drinks and some other things, which is not that cheap anymore, especially if you leave hungry. All the food we got was good quality and delicious, but you need to come here and spend more money to have a proper good meal.
Date: 16/ 01/ 14
Price for 2 people with the special offer and some other things: £91.30