Mayfair’s Sake No Hana restaurant by the Hakkasan Group celebrates the Japanese ‘sakura’ season with an installation of intertwining cherry blossom branches and a limited-edition menu. LUX enjoys Hideki Hiwatashi’s contemporary take on hanami – the Japanese feast that celebrates cherry blossom season and the start of spring – beneath the seasonal blooms.
Sakura begins in the south of Japan around February and finishes in the north at the end of May. Fortunately, the 24,000 flowers carefully installed by East-London artist Rebecca Louise Law at Mayfair’s Sake No Hana are hand-dried and preserved to last forever. However, they’ll only be visible on the restaurant’s wooden beamed ceiling until the end of June, providing the ideal backdrop for a contemporary hanami feast.
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Traditionally served at a Japanese cherry blossom picnic, Head Chef, Hideki Hiwatashi has dreamt up a new take on the traditional feast; a culinary reflection of the season’s celebrations and the transient beauty of the blossoms. The special hanami cocktail blends lavender bitters and Akashi-tai honjozo, whilst the culinary offerings are typically innovative of the brand.
Our highlights were the bamboo leaf wrapped sea bass nigiri, tied prettily with a golden wire (it looks almost too good to eat), and the char-grilled rib eye beef with chilli ponzu. The most decadent option is the salmon served with a reach champagne yuzu miso sauce and pickled carrot and celery, which resemble pink blossoms. And for desert, a bitter chocolate, cherry delice that melts in the mouth. Enjoy the transient tastes while they last.
The sakura menu and art installation will be available at Sake No Hana until 18th June