Sake No Hana

Japanese Restaurant in St James's
Sake No Hana image

8 / 10 from 1 review
23 St. James's Street
St James's
020 7925 8988
St James's
Nearest Station
Green Park
0.16 miles
Opening Summary
Mon - Fri: 12:00 - 14:45
Sat: 12:00 - 15:45

Mon - Thurs: 18:00 - 22:30
Fri & Sat: 18:00 - 23:00
Restaurant Facilities

Disabled Facilities

Children Welcome

Credit Cards Accepted

Music Played

Booking Advisable

Sake no Hana offers modern authentic Japanese dining in the heart of Mayfair.

A la carte menus provide a variety of hot and cold appetizers, charcoal grill, Toban and Kamameshi dishes, while sushi and sashimi are prepared to order at the sushi bar.

A carefully selected list of sakes, Japanese whiskeys and other wines, spirits and liqueurs complement the dishes offered in the restaurant.

With interiors designed by esteemed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the restaurant interior is awash with linear bamboo that flushes each wall; each tree like structure of cypress wood punctuates the space giving a feel of a futuristic forest, pseudo-screens ripple the windows providing a soft veil to the backdrop of St. James Street.

Sake No Hana Picture Gallery

Sake No Hana Picture
Sake No Hana Picture

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All In London Review

The sushi looks too good to eat...

Review Image
Spring has definitely sprung in Green Park. At 6.30 on a weekday evening, every sunny spot had attracted a small cluster of people, making the most of the lingering warmth. It was still light out and the air was scented with flowers and grass rather than rain and smog. We do love a bit of spring in London, although when it comes to celebrating it we could still stand to learn a thing or two from the Japanese.

Just down the road from Green Park, Japan’s famed love affair with cherry blossom season has inspired smart Japanese restaurant Sake No Hana to transform the bar below the restaurant into Sakura, meaning (no prizes for guessing) ‘cherry blossom’, a gorgeous pop-up indoor garden. The theme is all-encompassing, from the eye-catching blossom display over the doorway, windows and bar, to the short, but finely-crafted, seasonal menu. The room is a vision in pink and white, balanced neatly with contemporary black tables and stools to avoid tipping over into kitsch. It’s an intimate space, the small tables, each canopied by boughs, inviting têtes-à-têtes. I was sure I could smell cherry blossom, even though most of the impressive display was made up of artificial flowers. In short, the place has romantic atmosphere down to an art form.

Within minutes of arriving, my friend and I were sipping cherry blossom tea from a seemingly bottomless teapot, trying not to relax too much and fall off our trendy bar stools. The clientele came in twos and threes, some passing through for a pre-dinner drink, whilst others settled in for the evening, keeping the bar buzzing, but not crowded. Sake No Hana’s regular bar menu, with an extensive cocktail list and selection of Japanese snacks, did look appealing, but the Sakura special menu had more of a fun factor. If you don’t like cherries or floral drinks, it might not be the menu for you. If, on the other hand, you fancy a novel taste of spring and don’t mind splurging a bit, then read on. The whole list, consisting of two teas (one hot, one iced), two cocktails, a bento box, a dessert and some macarons (which we agreed were more of a finishing touch than a second dessert in order to order both), adds up to a surprisingly filling dinner for a bar menu.

We followed up the tea with a lightly-flavoured miso soup (which comes as part of the bento box) and then two boxed layers. In Japanese tradition, as the waitress explained, the hot food is eaten first and the sushi, being more substantial than it looks, is a second course. In this case, the hot layer was made up of crispy fried chicken with a sesame asparagus salad. My not-quite-vegetarian friend was happily catered for with some crisp tempura vegetables, before we both moved on to the sushi.

Across the menu, the flavours were as neatly balanced as the decor, with a blend of freshness (the iced tea was spring in a glass) and decadence (the sashimi and the palet d’or dessert). The cocktails ticked both boxes. As tasty as the food was, the Sakuratini cocktail stood out as one of the most fragrant drinks I have ever enjoyed. By the time dessert (squared) arrived, the sun had set, the mood lighting was showing off the blossom displays to full effect and the crowd was morphing from post-work drinks to newly-coupled.

Sakura would certainly make an impressive first date venue. There are plenty of potential conversation-starters, from marvelling at the massive ice cubes in your cocktail glass, to acknowledging that the sushi looks too good to eat, but will of necessity have to be consumed in one bite, to contemplating how many cherry chocolate macarons you can manage.

Adding up the menu, assuming you haven’t been able to resist any of it, dinner and drinks will set you back around £50 per head, so it is on the pricey side. Still, cherry blossom season doesn’t last long – Sakura is only open until 19th May – and for sheer springtime joy it merits the indulgence. Plus if enough people enjoy it they just might bring it back next spring.

Reviewed by Sean Sheehan on Apr 22, 2014
Published on Apr 22, 2014

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Part of the Hakkasan group, Sake No Hana has a counter where sushi and sashimi are made to order. This glamorous restaurant is no stranger to celebrity sightings; the bill can add up but there are good value lunchtime deals.

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As it's part of the Hakkasan group you can expect the same glitzy decor and clientele (and price list). There's a huge range of sake on offer to suit all palates, including dry, sparkling and even mushroomy. Plus they run masterclasses where you'll learn about its history and how to drink it.

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