Warning: If you are a control freak, this is not for you! Omakase, meaning “I’ll leave it up to you”, is the Japanese tradition of letting the chef take control of your whole meal. Lucky for you, at Sake No Hana it is chef Hideki Hiwatashi and he brings his 26 years of experience to the Omakase table.
Each dish is determined on the day from the freshest ingredients. What you eat will depend on the season, the weather and availability of ingredients. Even the other chefs in the background who were busy preparing can’t help but watch Hideki in action in what can only be described as a unique, artistic performance.
Set slightly away from the main dining room, the Omakase bar is a semi-private area where you are up close and personal with your chef. There is typically one chef for two diners so it really is a private experience.
From starters through to dessert, chef Hideki Hiwatashi showcased his seasonal ingredients through a series of inventive dishes and sushi. This elaborate, multi-course Japanese experience can also be paired with a flight of sakes.
The menu we experienced is above which is signed by chef Hideki for you to take home as a souvenir on paper made from recycled seaweed.
We opened with a monkfish tempura with Cornish crab in a yuzu soy sauce. This is a dish traditionally served to warm you up at the start of dinner. After an A5 wagyu broth, we then enjoyed 11 pieces of hand crafted Nigiri.
One of the Nigiri items on the menu that will stay is a fully-farmed and sustainable blue fin tuna. The tuna is actually third generation – first farmed in 1979. In 2002 they succeeded in breeding them and in 2007, the process was repeated for a third generation. This translates into a quality tasting fish and the belly was creamy, tender and smooth.
To end, Hideki then performs a Japanese tea ceremony. It is a charming and traditional way of preparing and drinking green tea. The tea is refreshingly bitter sweet and cleansed the palate. Rooted in Chinese Zen philosophy, the tea ceremony is a spiritual process and it takes decades for the host to master the art of serving tea.
The Omakese menu is available Monday to Saturday evenings at £135 per person. There is only one sitting every night at 7pm and six seats available at the Omakase bar. The optional sake flight is £45.
To book and discover more, visit: sakenohana.com/london
By Sam Rogers
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