Modern Japanese restaurant, Sake No Hana, is to launch an Introduction to Sake masterclass in July. I participated in a press preview of the class the other night and discovered that there’s a lot to learn about Japan’s celebrated rice wine.
I also found out that Sake No Hana is a fantastic restaurant worth a visit whether you’re looking for an education in spirits or simply a gorgeous meal. Sitting at Sake No Hana’s sushi bar and admiring the chefs’ nimble work while sipping “Grand Cru” level premium sake, I was very much in my happy place and couldn’t think of a more conducive way to enjoy a fine Japanese meal in London.
Sake No Hana is part of the Hakkasan Group; so I was expecting certain level of quality and sheer wow when I visited. I’m pleased to report that I was not disappointed. The setting was minimalist yet swank. Service, exceptionally polite. Food, for the most part, was phenomenal. In particular, I loved my Chilean seabass hobayaki and would order it again. Sushi was extraordinary too. I am keeping this restaurant in mind for upcoming special occasions.
As for the actual masterclass, the press preview was a bit of a condensed crash course of what paying customers will get. Nonetheless, I learned plenty about how sake is made, what to notice when tasting it and how to tell different styles apart. Also (and perhaps most importantly), I received tips how to go about drinking it while making sure to adhere to Japanese etiquette and custom.
The classes will be hosted by Christine Parkinson, Head Wine Buyer for the Hakkasan Group globally and judge of sake at the annual International Wine Challenge, alongside Anthony Rose – well-known wine guru and Co-Chairman of Tokyo’s International Sake Challenge.
Dates for the classes are 6 July, 3 August, 7 September and 5 October. The half-day classes will run from 11am and will provide guests with an opportunity to try seven different types of sake and one umeshu (Japanese plum wine) as well as the “Taste of Sake No Hana” lunch menu at the linear timber topped sushi counter. Guests will get a gift bag with a bottle of sake and kikichoko, a “snake eye” sake cup. To ensure an intimate experience, spaces are extremely limited. The price is £60 per person, and based on my experience at the preview, I’d say that’s spot-on value for money.
If you can’t make the class, you should consider still paying a visit. At £29 per person, the four course Taste of Sake No Hana menu is definitely a smart way to go. This menu is available Monday to Wednesday at anytime and Thursday to Saturday from 6pm to 7pm and after 10pm.
Sake No Hana is located at 23 St James’s Street, SW1A 1HA. For more information and to book a spot in the masterclass go to sakenohana.com or call the restaurant’s reservations team on +44(0) 207 925 8988.