All posts tagged: Japanese

Spring blossoms at Sake no Hana

Sake no Hana recreates springtime Japan with a bit of help from its ‘sakura’ cherry blossoms. When the blooms come out at Sake no Hana, it can only mean one thing – the turn of ‘hanami’ where picnicking is enjoyed under flowering but fleeting cherry blossom trees to see in spring in full glory. Under a canopy of white and pink blossoms with a grass carpet underfoot and projection of falling petals above the bar, the scene is beautifully set for the bar’s limited edition spring sakura menu. And what a way to begin, as the cocktail brings with it a multisensory experience. A mix of gin, yuzu sake, cherry liqueur, grapefruit juice and agave is guaranteed to please sweet-toothed drinkers. But then the three curious atomisers that accompany the drink up the ante. In the first instance, dousing these onto your wrists would be a great waste so do refrain as an alcohol base of vodka tells you all you need to know. There’s a fitting cherry and cinnamon fragrance, a delicate elderflower and …

Fresh off the ice: Koori at L’Apogée Courchevel

If you’re going to get back on the slopes day after day, you need to get some real sustenance in. At L’Apogée Courchevel, it’ll be Japanese restaurant Koori (translates as “ice”) fuelling you up for the season. Amongst slick, slate grey interiors with marble countertops, you can enjoy indulgent but delicately prepared dishes such as black cod with miso sauce and salmon with daikon radish. That’s alongside the naturally popular choices of sushi and sashimi. And there’s plenty of Japanese tea and sake to help warm you up too. (Koori at L’Apogée Courchevel, France. lapogeecourchevel.com)

Aqua Kyoto’s Marine Menu is a real catch

Japanese restaurant Aqua Kyoto looks to the sea for their latest summer Marine Menu. Fish, in all its variations, has always been something Aqua Kyoto has excelled at. Its dedicated sashimi and sushi bar at the front of the restaurant is a credit to that. But behind the kitchen doors, there is so much more at work as chef Paul Greening flexes his microbiology muscle to create the restaurant’s latest offering, the Marine Menu, which is awash with some pretty wonderful sea flavours. There are three courses to get through and one set cocktail thrown in the mix, although the original Sea Stone martini with vodka, elderflower and a sting of absinthe, may be replaced with a sweeter, more refreshing cucumber variant to help ease you into the meal more gently. Naturally, the chef’s selection of sashimi, which can include salmon, tuna and scallops, served on a bed of ice is a vibrant way to start, otherwise the Cornish crab rolls topped with a sliver of unagi offers just enough bite before slipping down nicely. …

Springtime blooms during Sakura at Sake no Hana

The ‘sakura’ cherry blossoms have arrived, so the Japanese tradition of hanami begins with a fitting food and drink feast at Sake no Hana. Down along St James’s Street, London, there’s a rather curious sight. Cherry blossom trees seem to be taking over a certain Japanese bar and restaurant and they can barely contain themselves. They’re artfully draped over doorways and arched across the windows. They’re positively blooming and it’s a magnificent sight, certainly one best enjoyed inside by the bar. This annual tradition of celebrating the Sakura at Sake no Hana makes for a beautiful light-dining experience. The limited edition cherry blossom-themed menu is served in the bar area and is a great introduction to Sake no Hana’s wider restaurant offering upstairs. Dishes on the new menu include a Sakura Gozen (£32) which includes a sweet and warming white miso soup, some sautéed spinach with plenty of sesame to keep it interesting and the highlight, a vibrant selection of sashimi (kuro kampachi, salmon, sea bream), nigiri (otoro, chu toro, akami) and maki (spicy tuna, …

34 Gone Fishing: Ben Orpwood stages Japanese pop-up

As Harvey Ayliffe, chef of Mayfair restaurant 34, steps out for a week, guest chef Ben Orpwood steps in with a new Japanese pop-up. For one week only, it’s all-change at 34. Whilst the team ‘go fishing’, Ben Orpwood (ex-Zuma), who is based in Sydney, Australia, will be taking over the kitchen and introducing a pop-up menu bursting with Japanese flavours. Although a few of the classics, such as the steaks and lobster macaroni, will remain, the restaurant’s menu will mostly comprise of Orpwood’s own creations. Among the new introductions is a raw bar offering yellowfin tuna tataki with a ginger and shallot dressing, venison carpaccio with some spicy yuzu koshu and five varieties of sashimi. There will also be a selection of robata-grilled meats including Wagyu beef and tiger prawn skewers with soy barbeque sauce, lamb lollipops and hot smoked salmon. Desserts include a diverse selection of doughnuts, cheesecakes, frozen yuzu marshmallows and a chocolate tofu mousse that the chef is hoping will win over the hearts of those who still remain unmoved by …

Aqua Kyoto launches spring floral menu

If you wanted proof that spring was in full flow, you need only look at the arrival of Aqua Kyoto’s bright and blossoming new floral menu. Aqua Kyoto sure knows how to woo. And right now they’re doing it with flowers – in your starter, around your main, on your dessert and even in your cocktail. It’s an extravaganza of edible flowers that will guarantee you won’t be staying away for too long. The seduction via three courses begins with a sweet and zesty Jinzu sherbet cocktail. It’s a lovely introduction to Jinzu, a new British-Japanese gin that is infused with cherry blossom and yuzu sake. This is followed by one of three starters – perfectly moreish prawn maki rolls with okra wrapped in a delicate layer of ponzu jelly, a selection of sashimi on ice in an edible flower ‘garden’, or a cherry tomato and tofu salad with a smoked honey dressing. For the main, choose from baby chicken smothered in a sweet yomogi and lime teriyaki sauce with a delicious pot of rice …

Aqua Kyoto New Year Solutions

Determined not to break your health kick when dining out? Try Japanese restaurant Aqua Kyoto’s New Year Solutions menu. One month in, if you’ve managed to keep your New Year’s resolutions, hats off to you. You deserve a treat. But don’t worry, this one won’t make you fall off the wagon. The New Year Solutions menu is a deliciously light but perfectly filling three-course meal that will actually complement your intention for healthy and nutritious eating. A vibrant sashimi trio of salmon, tuna and sea bass comes to the table on a bowl of crushed ice to keep it fresh and is as delicate and tasty as you could expect. The tuna is a wonderfully light option too – three slices with braised daikon and sea buckthorn berries set in a jelly su miso sauce. Don’t underestimate the spinach rolls though – the aroma from the crushed sesame seeds and goma dressing that accompanies it will win you over before you’ve even taken a bite. If you’re after indulgent food without the guilt, the main …