Home Land Shinji Kanesaka’s London Sushi Omakase Presents the U.Ok.’s Priciest Menu – Robb...

Shinji Kanesaka’s London Sushi Omakase Presents the U.Ok.’s Priciest Menu – Robb Report


London’s costliest restaurant has its least seen presence. Sushi Kanesaka lies behind a darkish, unmarked wood door in Mayfair’s 45 Park Lane resort, the outside of which additionally fails to promote the place. Additional complicated issues, the doorway leads off a non-public room within the resort’s Bar 45, whose dim, louche, ’50s Italian nightlife vibe clashes with the occasional look of a Japanese okami-san in conventional costume as she prepares for one of many night’s two providers. At which level bar patrons should marvel what, precisely, went into their Negronis. 

However a restaurant doesn’t want shouty signage to seize passersby when there are solely 9 seats to fill and the set menu prices £420 (about $530). Chef Shinji Kanesaka holds two Michelin stars for his equally unique restaurant in Tokyo, and he has opened extra in Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The London outpost of Sushi Kanesaka, his first outdoors Asia, was awarded its personal Michelin star in February, simply seven months after it opened. And whereas different London eating places supply dearer particular person assertion dishes, such because the roughly $800 Wagyu tomahawk at Nusr-Et, Kanesaka’s 18-course set menu is the U.Ok.’s priciest, with sake pairings including no less than one other $180 or so to that invoice. 

Wild Canadian tuna, O-toro, and Chu-toro

Wild Canadian tuna, O-toro, and Chu-toro

Tina Hiller

Kanesaka-san got here to London for a couple of days simply as that Michelin star was introduced, making ready his omakase menu for a few of London’s different Michelin-starred cooks and some invited company, together with Robb Report. Whereas having your sushi ready by the world-famous chef in Mayfair received’t be instantly replicable by London diners, the expertise contained in the resort restaurant (assuming you may snag a reservation) is in any other case very a lot the identical as going to his unique, equally tiny Ginza restaurant on which the London room is intently modeled. The London employees all educated there, and the inside is almost similar in its suave simplicity, with the identical conventional hinoki-wood ice chests and a counter constructed from a single size of the similar number of cypress, on this case milled from a 500-year-old tree; its pale blond tone lightens the area and disguises the truth that there are not any home windows. 

In contrast to the conspicuous consumption of a few of London’s different crazy-expensive eating places, Sushi Kanesaka’s focus is easy perfection—an impression strengthened by the person himself, austerely clad in sandals and a sweatshirt, when he joins me within the bar for an interview earlier than service. Sure, he says through interpreter, he’s conscious that his menu is London’s costliest, however no, that was by no means the intention. Sure, discovering fish from native suppliers to his crazy-exacting requirements was tough, however he’s delighted with what he’ll put together later. The place is the perfect sushi tradition outdoors Japan? New York, he thinks, for the range. He’d wish to open there someday however has no instant plans. (Hoteliers: Make him a proposal.) Surprisingly, and really a lot in contrast to most different time-poor Michelin-starred chef patrons, he desires to proceed speaking even after answering my questions. 

Floor manager Nanami Kidoguchi

Ground supervisor Nanami Kidoguchi

Tina Hiller

Service feels much less like a meal, extra like a efficiency or ritual. The simplicity of a sushi chef ’s device equipment is all of the extra placing right here, given the financial worth of what Kanesaka-san is about to supply utilizing only a pair of knives, a yukata rolling mat, and a towel to dab his fingers. Assistants ferry elements to him on hinoki trays, and he does the deft handiwork: skinning, slicing, forming, and folding nearly the whole lot you eat, with the battered Scottish lobster and seared Kobe beef cooked (very briefly) to at least one aspect. 

The value and the fame create an expectation of perfection, the concept nothing should fail or the entire meal is a wash. Nothing does. The nori is crisp and bracingly saline, the house-blend rice from Yamagata unctuous and comforting. The fish spans a spread of style and sensation, from the clear oceanic pop of salmon roe to a richly candy octopus that has been simmered for 5 hours. The sushi creations are introduced as delicate single items however comprise a satisfying meal over 18 programs; the smoked-eel hand roll, specifically, has a beneficiant heft. All the pieces is accompanied by the perfect sakes accessible wherever, notably a buttery, unpasteurized Koueigiku Gekko and a barrel-aged Choryo Yamahai taru sake. 

A Scottish scallop being removed from its shell.

A Scottish scallop being faraway from its shell.

Tina Hiller

After an especially exact (in each sense of the phrase) two hours you emerge, disconcertingly, again into Fifties Italy with a nagging feeling of remorse. Not on the cash spent—given the otherworldly high quality and the monastic dedication of the person who ready dinner, Costco couldn’t present superior worth—however on the realization that you simply’ll doubtless by no means eat higher sushi in your life. 

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