23 St James’s Street
London SW1A 1LP
020 7925 8988
It’s been quite a long time since we went to Sake no Hana (almost 10 months now), so considering that it’s relatively new and still making changes to improve, things might be very different now. However, this was our experience when we were there.
The entrance wasn’t obvious – with just a tiny white line with the name of the restaurant against a huge black door. It would definitely have been easy to miss. Once we entered, we were faced with a huge black room, and greeted by a receptionist who told us to head upstairs. The escalator was out of order that day, so we had to climb up to the first floor (it’s not easy climbing up an escalator at all). Overall, it was not a brilliant first impression at all.
Once we were in, we were struck by the classy interior, and by how empty it was. We reserved our seats via toptable.com, and received a 50% discount on our food. With this promotion you would expect quite a crowd, but it was virtually empty and very quiet when we were there. The dining room was, just like the entrance and the long walk up, unsurprisingly dark. The overuse of black in the design was quite annoying and pretentious we felt, and the whole place could seriously use with much more light to make it more inviting and less depressing.
The food wasn’t bad at all. We ordered a couple of dishes to share, heeding worldfoodieguide’s recommendation in her review of this restaurant. The sashimi was very fresh and the ikura sushi was delicious. We were also very impressed by the finely chopped seaweed on our agedashi tofu, and the tofu itself was also very good.
Our mains were the breaded pork chops with mushrooms and the Chilean sea bass cooked in miso. The pork chops were good, but not outstanding. It’s quite hard to create a mind-blowing fried dish we feel, since fried food tends to satisfy, but not wow.
Our Chilean sea bass however, was mind-blowing. It melted in your mouth and the skin had a very nice and smoky charred flavour. If there was one dish we would have again at Sake no Hana, it would be this dish. Since then we’ve had countless black cods with miso. This Chilean sea bass definitely ranks high among the best of the black cods we’ve had.
Overall, this meal wasn’t cheap, even with the 50% discount. We left not feeling very full, despite paying close to 70pounds after the discount. The food wasn’t spectacular, with the exception of the sea bass of course, so we concluded then that we would definitely not go back to Sake no Hana. However, since then it’s had a lot of time to improve, so we might actually go back if we’ve read sufficient positive reviews to try it out again!
Additional note: 50% off when we booked through top table