Befitting the name of a restaurant I left with a big smile on my face last week, Sachi means happiness in Japanese.
This popular eatery in the heart of Belgravia opened July 21 with its menu prepared by head chef Collin Hudston (formerly of Arugula) and executive chef Chris Golding (from Nobu and Zuma, another top Japanese restaurant in Knightsbridge). .
The restaurant is located on the lower ground floor of Pantechnicon, a flashy, five-story Scandinavian and Japanese food and shopping mall that opened in September last year. Originally built in 1830, the Pantechnicon building also features a rooftop bar, Scandinavian-inspired shop and studio space, and the first UK outpost of iconic Japanese brand Café Kitsuné.
Despite the lack of natural light, Sachi is a breathtaking space. The open-plan dining room is designed in accordance with the Japanese philosophy of minimalism, with no tricks or unnecessary decorations. The room is accessed by a stunning living plant setup that includes both real and artificial foliage, while soothing tropical creepers are wrapped around interior beans and ceiling fixtures.
Guests can choose to sit at a central table, in a noren-covered, Covid-friendly private booth, or in an eight-seater sofa. sushi Bench made of warm oak, brass and blue clay brick to watch the chefs at work. There is also a private dining room used for parties and sake masterclasses, as well as a late night bar inspired by Tokyo’s secret drinks serving rare Japanese dishes. whiskeys.
The ingredients for each plate on the exciting food menu are grown and sourced from independent producers in the UK (for example, trout is organically raised in Scotland and most of the greens come from Sussex). The menu is extensive but not overwhelming; The recommended order for a table for two is two or three sushi dishes followed by a fish, a meat and a vegetable dish.
We had the pleasure of sampling a variety of wonderful fresh sushi, including bright pink masu (trout) and blood red otoro (oily tuna belly) sashimi, as well as masuko (trout roe) and suzuki (sea bass) nigiri. Instead of choosing our sushi one by one, we went for the “chef’s choice” which I highly recommend as it forces you to leave your ordinary order.
We tried the sashimi and nigiri as well as the bluefin tuna belly (one of the most prized cuts), the toro maki rolls made from spring onions and buckwheat. The contrast of silky fluffy tuna with the crunch of scallions made this a true highlight of a meal and among the evening’s favourites. We also ordered the nigiri special which included butter wagyu beef Tatar and was better than we expected.
Along with some sake-based cocktails, we washed down our sushi with a light but hot robusutā miso; A twist on the classic Japanese miso soup with small pieces of lobster in a salty-sweet broth.
Next up was the “ankou bubu arare 9 monkfish” – my dining companion (who doesn’t usually eat a big fish) soft monkfish covered in crispy rice was one of the tastiest things she’d ever tasted. We also tried the short beef ribs served with black garlic sauce and a side of fermented mushrooms that definitely has an umami quality when you get over their slightly odd texture.
Our last dish, which we could hardly find a place for, was one of Sachi’s bestsellers: miso eggplant. This was cooked to perfection—perfectly charred and crunchy on the outside, but creamy and silky on the inside—and came with a side of tangy green tomatoes.
The restaurant is still trying their desserts but after such an enormous meal we were quite happy to call it a day. But the lovely staff brought us two slices of cake for us to sample as part of the dessert recipe test (if both make it into the final pudding menu, you won’t be disappointed).
Sachi is definitely not cheap but if you’re a sushi fan like me, then it’s worth a special trip. Everything we tried was outstanding, the restaurant itself is very thoughtfully designed and authentically Japanese. I admire everyone trying to open a new restaurant during the pandemic and wish the team behind Sachi all the best. They deserve it.
Sachi, 19 Motcomb Street London SW1X 8LB; pantechnicon.com/sachi