Japanese restaurant Sake no Hana, by Hakkasan Group, is celebrating the arrival of Spring and Japanese cherry blossom season with the return of Sakura (one of the most celebrated periods in the Japanese calendar), with a secret cherry blossom garden in the heart of Mayfair designed by renowned florist Veevers Carter.
Taking over the bar on St. James’s Street, Sakura at Sake no Hana has a spectacular display of pink cherry blossom enveloping the bar from floor to ceiling, entwining above and around guests whilst they enjoy limited edition cocktails, bento boxes and desserts.
This year the fantastical garden have added the fresh scent of cherry blossom (Cherry Blossom by Floris, Mayfair family perfumer since 1730 and Royal Warrant holders for perfume to Her Majesty the Queen) to add to the sensory experience.
We went along to check out this returning seasonal special and to sample some of its delicious offerings. As we step into a fairytale-like scented entrance, surrounded by interweaving mossy branches and archways of lush blossom we are immediately transported into another world that seems so far removed from urban London.
Once inside, we settle down and opt for the limited edition sakura menu – Sakura Gozen (£32p/p), which includes a tasty white miso soup, sesame spinach with cassava chips that is simple but divine and a sakura crystal box which included a delicious selection of kuro kampachi, salmon, sea-bream sashimi, otoro, chu toro, akami nigri, spicy tuna, salmon avocado, California maki. The box is inspired by spring and the selection is flavoursome, fresh, light but filling and exactly what we hoped for.
The menu also includes a Violet Risshun Cocktail – A two-part cocktail, (Risshun represents the start of Spring in the Japanese calendar), that is presented in a carafe, miniature jug and delicate coupette. The carafe contains Jinzu Gin, green chartreuse, grapefruit and lemon juice, shiso syrup and Burlesque bitters; the jug Belsazar rose vermouth, maraschino cherry, cranberry and lemon juice. The glass we are told is sprayed with a violet mist. The recommendation is you have a few sips of the lighter drink that’s presented in the carafe and then you add in the other liquid from the miniature jug.
For dessert we have a sakura cotton cheesecake (£8) that consists of a baked cheesecake with fresh cherries, cream cheese, cherry sorbet and a cherry blossom macaron – vanilla macaron with cherry blossom tea ganache (£1.80 each).
Guests are encouraged to Instagram images of blossom and Spring flowers, with the best images winning Sakura gifts.
Sakura at Sake no Hana limited-edition menu items available for lunch and dinner in the bar and restaurant sushi counter from 20th April to 20th June, Monday to Saturday.
To book a table call 020 7925 8988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.