I think I can speak for most people when I say that we all know the Japanese restaurants in Mayfair like the back of our hands by now (which, I might add, is not a good thing!). Novikov is now filled with middle –aged men, Nobu has become ever so slightly ‘bridge and tunnel’ and Umu is simply too good to be able to just pop-in. It seems like our once preferred Japanese haunts are reaching the end of their restaurant shelf life. So where do we go now?
Nestled just off the beaten track, and away from all the garish happenings on Berkeley Street, Sakagura is positioned on the corner of Heddon Street, Mayfair.
On entering, you are either seated in view of the beautiful sake-barrelled bar or, and in our case, offered a booth sectioned off with material to separate you from the rest of the diners in order to make your experience all the more private. Since it was my first visit, I heeded the waiter’s recommendations and chose the Sashimi Moriawase and Maguro Tartare (Tuna Tartare for those who don’t speak Japanese). I could attempt to describe how beautifully presented both of these dishes were but the photos say it all. The food was so stunning that both my friend and I were slightly taken aback – we were not expecting this! Our waiter served our tartare and explained that we take all the ingredients and mix it ourselves which we found extremely entertaining and then he proceeded to grate some fresh wasabi for us at the table.
The restaurant serves authentic Japanese ‘Washoku’ which aims to stimulate all senses, essentially meaning, not only does the food look breathtakingly good, it also tastes divine due to the use of seasonal, fresh ingredients and it is all complemented by ‘omotenashi’ hospitality which ensures a unique and personalised dining experience for every party. Unlike with many other restaurants, at Sakagura you need not compromise style for substance or vice versa – it has it all.
We chose four more dishes which were the Lobster and Waygu Beef Robatayaki and Sea Bream and Chicken Kamameshi. Both the Robatayaki were, again, beautifully presented and cooked to perfection and the Kamameshi (which literally means a rice dish cooked in an iron pot) came in it’s own pot and was mixed for us at the table. Throughout the meal, the service and attention to detail was truly faultless.
Needless to mention, all dishes were paired with carefully-selected Sake because the restaurant is the first to be owned by Sake brewery companies. Due to this, Sakagura possesses some of the most premium and exclusive sakes from Gekkeikan (Royal Warrant Holders) and from the oldest sake companies in the world! We even got to select our very own sake cup.
Finally, to top it all off, we chose the Rainbow drop cake and Matcha fondant gateau for dessert – both were superb. Having thought we were far too full from the dinner, we still managed to polish off both desserts which is certainly a good sign.
Overall, Sakagura is a dining experience like no other. Their ability to put a modern twist on traditional food and service is impeccable. The only thing left to say is, have you made your reservation yet?
Sakagura, 8 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BU
020 3405 7230