Cherry blossoms have to be one of my favourite things about springtime. As soon as they’re out, the streets and parks of London are in bloom with pretty pink and white flowers that always make me look up rather than down and around.
So when I learned about Sakura at Sake no Hana, I jumped at the chance to review its intriguing cherry-blossom infused menu and discover its glorious pop-up garden, both of which run until May 19th.
As I approached one of the front doors, I could hear passersby comment on Sake no Hana’s beauty.
Sakura means cherry blossom and Sake no Hana does not shy away from giving its customers an exceptional springtime dining experience.
Here, take a look …
Isn’t it just beautiful?
As for the menu, it is no surprise that this was going to be another delectable experience from Sake no Hana which belongs to the Hakkasan group.
Lunch started off with a pot of tea made from the leaves of cherry blossom trees, before we moved swiftly onto cocktails (yes, cocktails at lunchtime – what a delight!).
I had the Hanami Bellini Cocktail, which included sparkling sake, Luxardo cherry liqueur, Heering cherry liqueur, lime and Tanqueray gin.
This cocktail was quite a surprise. It wasn’t as sweet as I imagined it would be. In fact, it had a depth of flavour that made me want to savour each sip. It was gorgeous and I’m going to try and have one more before the pop-up ends.
Fellow blogger Mrs. O. Around The World who writes one of my favourite travel blogs opted for a Hakka. If you know Ana, you’ll not be surprised because the Hakka is one of Mrs. O’s favourite cocktails.
It includes: Belvedere vodka, Akashi-tai sake, lychee juice, lime, coconut and fresh passion fruit.
For lunch, we started with a miso soup each …
… before moving onto the bento box which involved seven-spice chicken kuwayaki and spring salad with sesame dressing for the initial layer.
And then we moved onto the sushi layer which included salmon avocado, spicy tuna and California rolls, and chu-toro and salmon sashimi.
I loved everything in the bento box, which may not look like much but it was actually very filling. Apparently in Japan, the sushi is eaten last to avoid prematurely filling up with the rice.
After the delicious bento box and its fresh and tasty ingredients, we moved onto dessert. These were the vanilla macarons with cherry blossom tea ganache.
And this was the Sakura Palet D’Or: cherry-chocolate dessert with fresh cherries, nashi pear, almonds and ginger, and cherry blossom tea ice-cream made from the leaves of cherry blossom trees, which I demolished single-handedly after trying one of the macarons …
… and which I washed down with a Sakura Ice Tea: marasca cherries, jasmine tea and lime. Very refreshing!
It was so lovely to catch up with Ana in such a pretty space and with such delicious treats.
If you’re in the area and are looking for something different yet reliably yummy to try, I would recommend dropping into this gorgeous pop-up. And even better, if you are in the area on Saturday 26th April at midday, why not step inside to watch the “Kagami Biraki”, a time-honoured Japanese ceremony which entails the lid of a sake barrel being dramatically broken open by a wooden mallet before the sake is served in traditional cups. This will be accompanied by Japanese Taiko drummers with their captivating, high-energy, carnival-like performance. Should be fun!
Sake no Hana, 23 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HA.
Disclosure: We were guests of Sake no Hana but this isn’t a biased post. I left feeling like I had a veritable feast for the palate and eyes.