Sake No Hana, St James

Yesterday, I met up with two ex-colleagues, Rebecca who I was recently in the Cotswolds with, and Celine, who is visiting from Sydney! It’s always fun to catch up and have a gossip about old times and people we know.

We went to Sake No Hana, which I’ve walked past many times and never been in. I’ve always heard mixed reviews, so never made an effort to go there. But looking at the menu before I got there, I started to get more excited.

In the end, we all went for the Tasting Special Menu, £29 for five courses, such a deal!

We started with a decent-sized bowl of miso soup, packed with seaweed… nothing particularly to mention about the soup, but it was good.

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Then, the tempura.. I went for the vegetable tempura, and the other girls went for the prawn tempura. I had a selection of five different vegetables, all lightly fried. Both tempuras were served with a small amount of somen noodles, which were topped with some kind of tangy sauce (a bit odd, but good).

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Here’s the prawn tempura… I think mine looks much better!

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Then, the sushi and sashimi plate. We had a chirashi of salmon, tuna and “white fish” (as they called it) sashimi and ikura fish eggs on rice, along with two pieces of a spicy salmon, mango, shiso and cucumber roll. Very fresh, and the roll was a nice combination of flavours.

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Then, I got the char-grilled salmon teriyaki. It was nice and tender, but WAY too much. They serve two full pieces to you! I had about half of it, and it was delicious. The garlic chips were ok, but not crispy enough, more soggy…

IMG_1222The girls had the age dashi tofu, which looked great, served with shishito peppers in the broth. I would have loved to try their dish, but was on food overload at this point.

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And finally, for dessert, a mango and passion fruit dessert, with mango sorbet and mango compote (under the passion fruit curd). Celine and I both really liked it, while Rebecca was neutral.

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So, thoughts overall? The food was good to very good, depending on the dish, and quite generous for the price we paid. The service? VERY slow. And kind of odd service downstairs at the coat check. No the best part of the experience. But I’d definitely come back for the food!

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