We heard a lot of good reviews about Sakura on their authentic Japanese cuisine. I’ve been there once a year ago and I had a good dining experience. So when we were craving for Japanese food in London, we decided to visit Sakura.
We were not aware that Sakura has moved from Hanover Street to Conduit Street. When we arrived at the old premise, we found directions guiding us to the new address, which was only about five minutes walk away. The new restaurant was located across Vivienne Westwood, in a posh neighbourhood surrounded by hotels and other restaurants.
During my previous visit, I had their shabu-shabu and fell in love with it. We decided to have it again this time. Priced at £30 per person, Sakura’s shabu-shabu set consists of appetiser (前菜), a choice of sashimi (刺身) or tempura (天ぷら), shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ), rice (ご飯), miso soup (お味噌汁), pickles (お漬物) and fruits (フルーツ). Pictured above was the appetiser, which we enjoyed eating.
Next up, we had our shabu-shabu. Shabu-shabu is a type of Japanese hot pot. It is similar to sukiyaki in the sense that thinly sliced meat and vegetables were used and served with dipping sauce. Shabu-shabu however, is considered to be more savoury and less sweet than sukiyaki. It is a very healthy and simple dish that can be eaten at any time of the year. Generous servings of Chinese leaf, shiitake mushrooms, udon noodles, tofu, onions and carrots were served.
While waiting for the ingredients to cook, we prepared our own dipping sauce. On the left we had a jug of ponzu (ポン酢) and a jug of goma sauce (胡麻) on the right. We also had an option of adding the grated chilli and spring onions into the dipping sauce.
This was the version of dipping sauce that I made by adding in ponzu and grated chilli. The ponzu sauce had a very sour and citrusy taste, while the chilli was mild and fragrant. The thinly sliced pork tasted amazing when dipped in the sauce, very appetising and delicious! The other veggies were very fresh too, we also love the udon noodles, although we didn’t manage to finish everything because the portion was huge. We also tried their sesame sauce, it was thick and fragrant, very nice but we preferred the ponzu sauce more.
We had a plate of fresh fruits to end our meal. We had a very pleasant dining experience in Sakura, and we would highly recommend any shabu-shabu lovers to try this set out, it was definitely worth the price paid!
Service was rather average. However, food was excellent and if you don’t mind the crowd and service, visit this restaurant for quality Japanese food!
23 Conduit Street
London W1S 1YF