Sakura refers to the celebration of cherry blossoms in Japan. It’s also the name of a pop-up at the Essex Road outlet of Borough Wines & Beers featuring an outstanding assortment of dishes by Chef Adam Rawson paired with sake, beer, wine and cocktails – and like Japan’s famous cherry blossoms, this beautiful opportunity will be gone before you know it.
Held downstairs at Borough Wines & Beers Essex Road shop in the Brewery Below, the collaboration marks the launch of Borough’s chef development series as well as part of Rawson’s own Global Traveller series of events.
Inspired by the award-winning chef’s recent visit to Tokyo, the menu is a marvel and features izakaya-style dishes designed for sharing.
I’d had Rawson’s cooking before – by way of burgers and bar bites at a pub kitchen takeover. Delicious for sure, but what I ate at a preview of his Sakura team up with Borough was a whole ‘nother level of scrumptious ingenuity. All the Sakura dishes I tried seemed at once rather simple in assemblage and ingredient and profoundly flavoursome and thoughtfully crafted.
Irresistibly yummy examples include cucumber pickles with sesame ponzu; homemade tofu with sesame oil and mandarin honey; slow-cooked egg with tender stem broccoli and katsuobushi (bonita flakes); and milk cheesecake with sansho and treacle syrup.
Next dates for Sakura are 24, 25, 30 and 31 March and 1 April. Tickets cost £30 for nine courses and £40 for 12 courses. Akashi-Tai sake, cocktails, wines and beers will be available to buy as flights and by the glass. During the preview, I enjoyed a glass of easy-going and somewhat savoury Akashi-Tai Honjozo sake, a Hitachino Japanese Classic beer, and an intriguing taste of Akashi-Tai Sparkling Junmai (yeah, fizzy sake).
I heard tell that the first few Sakura dates sold out (quick). I encourage you to act fast if you want a taste of this fleeting feast. Kanpai!
The Brewery Below is downstairs at Borough Wines & Beers, 344 Essex Road, N1 3PD. To book Sakura tickets and find out more go to boroughwines.co.uk.