Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited down to Sake no Hana‘s Maple Leaves event – something Becky and I were both looking very forward to as she was already a fan of Sake no Hana and I personally loved the sound of a Maple Leaves event!
Running until the 24th November – Sake no Hana – the Japanese restaurant from Hakkasan Group, is celebrating the change of season with an Autumn Leaf installation using Autumnal red, orange and yellow leaves that will encase the floor to ceiling glass windows at the front of the restaurant on St James Street, in partnership with Belvedere vodka and Ruinart Champagne.
Executive Head Chef Hideki Hiwatashi has created a limited-edition menu utilising seasonal ingredients and flavours for guests to enjoy whilst sipping on warming cocktails, Japanese sake, and whisky.
Fiery red, warming orange, and frosty yellow leaves are used in the installation to honour the Japanese maple leaf season, as well as Kengo Kuma’s architecture, giving guests a feeling of nature as they enter the restaurant. The installation offers guests the chance to experience ‘momiji-gari’, the Japanese tradition of viewing the maple leaves whilst enjoying modern authentic Japanese cuisine in the heart of Mayfair.
The installation has been specially commissioned to respond to the unique space and the season and created by The Edit Events. Managing Director Sarah Kay commented, “We were delighted to work closely with the Sake no Hana team to develop an Autumn Leaves install. This time of year in Japan sees an incredible array of colours, shapes and textures which we have emulated within the design. Adding a modern twist is a signature of Hakkasan Group hence the inclusion of metallics and a sprayed artistic style which creates an urban Autumn install within the heart of London.”
Although we, unfortunately, did not get any decent shots of the installation, the beautiful red leaves outside the ambient restaurant were absolutely stunning, very easily standing out against the grey London skyline. However, the bar area itself was buzzing with a relaxed but friendly atmosphere – perfect for pre-drinks or bar nibbles before a night out in the capital.
The limited-edition menu was created utilising warming Autumnal flavours and ingredients. Dishes included Kinoko misojitate, wild mushroom and chilli yuzu miso soup; Shitake tofu, shiitake mushrooms filled with homemade tofu and wasabi sauce; Salmon kurumi miso yaki, pan fried Loch Duart salmon with walnuts and Kyoto miso; Tori sumiyaki, chargrilled miso chicken with sesame chilli miso; Gunma wagyu beef maki, asparagus, caramelised onion and kizami wasabi. The dessert, Autumn Leaf, is a hazelnut feuilletine and hazelnut chocolate parfait with chocolate and maple syrup soup and a mascarpone mousse.
Some of these we got to try on the night, as well as cocktails and limited edition drinks such as a warming Maple toddy utilising Hennessy Fine de Cognac, Akashi-Tai Umeshu sake, ginger, maple, chocolate and edible rice paper art in addition to the Shisho 54, Belvedere vodka, Midori, lime, shiso, Fever-Tree slimline tonic and Prosecco, and Koyo nora using belvedere vodka, cardamom, mandarin, yuzu and edible rice paper art – delicious!
We only planned to pop our heads in and see what the fuss was all about before moving on to our other plans but we enjoyed our visit so much that we actually stayed for the majority of the evening!
Though the setting itself was high end, the Autumn Leaf installation and the limited-edition menu only costs £40 per person, which is so much cheaper than you’d expect! As well as a beyond beautiful installation (which you really have to pop down and see with your own eyes to believe), it’s the perfect winter evening spent with friends or a date.
The special installation and seasonal menu can be found at Sake no Hana until the 24th November.