This spring, Sake no Hana, the contemporary Japanese restaurant by the internationally acclaimed Hakkasan Group, is set to host its annual Sakura celebrations signifying the start of Spring and the Japanese blossom season.
The Mayfair restaurant will welcome a stunning seasonal art installation and a limited edition menu, collaborating with Perrier-Jouët Champagne, famous for their iconic Japanese anemone adorned bottles, to celebrate a marriage of art and food from Monday 19th March to Monday 18th June 2018.
Artist Lydia Kasumi Shireff has been commissioned to transform the space, following the success of her recent Chinese lantern installation at sister restaurant Yauatcha City. With a background in fine art, Lydia has been dubbed ‘the queen of paper sculpture’ and will take the restaurant’s annual blossom installation in this artistic direction.
Lydia’s interpretation of the Sakura theme has been inspired by hana fubuki, a Japanese phrase that directly translates as ‘flower snow storm’ or ‘cherry blossom blizzard’. Her installation will see large paper clouds of blossom suspended from the ceiling and walls to create a canopy, wrapping around the restaurant’s existing wooden pillar interiors. Sheets of translucent tissue paper will be cut into billowing silhouettes to create 3D structures representing the clouds of petals formed by hana fubuki, when winds whip up the falling blossom. A lighting display will add a sense of movement to the artwork, creating an immersive sense of petals falling and swirling to the ground. Lydia comments, “It’s been a fantastic challenge to work with the stunning interiors of Sake no Hana to create a unique, vibrant piece to celebrate the beauty and optimistic feeling of cherry blossom season.”
In tribute to the season, Sake no Hana’s esteemed Head Chef Hideki Hiwatashi has created a special four-course Sakura Supreme menu to pair with the fresh, citrus character of the recently launched Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs Champagne. Guests will begin with akadashi hirousu, a red miso soup with tofu cake, seaweed and chilli yuzu, followed by a selection of signature sushi. A bento box will comprise nigiri; maguro tuna, salmon, ama ebi and suzuki sasazushi, and maki rolls; spicy maguro, aburi salmon, crunchy kani maki and inari tofu. Diners will be offered a choice of main courses such as sakura salmon with yuzu miso and Angus beef sumiyaki with a chilli ponzu. To finish, guests will enjoy the delicate orange blossom panna cotta. The menu will be priced £38 per person including a signature Sakura cocktail, or £52 including a glass of Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs Champagne.
Head of Bar Eder Neto has created three new cocktails for Sakura, inspired by the artistic direction of the installation with each serve garnished with a miniature edible piece of Geisha art on rice paper. Two of the drinks hero Beefeater 24 gin which lists Japanese Sencha Tea as one of 12 botanicals;Cherry Minto (Beefeater 24, peach, cherry, fresh mint, soda water) and Ruby Negroni (Beefeater 24, Campari, Cocchi di Torino vermouth, Ratafia fortified wine). Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs Champagne, is the star of the third cocktail, Geisha Star martini, a blend of Absolute Elyx, vanilla, and passion fruit is topped with Sakura foam and served with a measure of the Champagne, to be enjoyed in alternate sips to savour both elements of the drink.