Inside Sushi Kanesaka, London’s Most Expensive Sushi Restaurant

By Martha Davies

7 months ago

Fine dining just levelled up


Looking for superior sushi? Martha Davies heads to Sushi Kanesaka, an intimate eatery tucked away inside the Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane.

Inside London’s Most Expensive Sushi Restaurant – Sushi Kanesaka Review

Image courtesy of the Dorchester Collection

As I crossed the lobby of 45 Park Lane and neared the discreet entrance to Sushi Kanesaka, I must confess that there was only one thing on my mind: the price tag attached to the restaurant’s eighteen-course menu. At £420 a head – excluding wine – it’s an experience that belongs firmly in the sphere of ultra-high-end dining, only easily accessible to a select few. Experience is the optimal word here, however, as it’s far more than just a meal: this is the art of omakase, when chefs curate a menu almost spontaneously, preparing each dish face-to-face with their guests. It might be dizzyingly pricey, but it’s most definitely artful. (And it’s also an exquisite meal.)

Sushi Kanesaka is led by celebrated omakase chef Shinji Kanesaka, the man behind Tokyo’s original Sushi Kanesaka restaurant – a world-renowned eatery which was awarded two Michelin stars in 2018 and has since retained both. The 45 Park Lane outpost is elegant and private, with a nine-seat counter and separate four-seat dining room; you’ll spot one-of-a-kind vases designed by renowned ceramic artist Shiro Tsujimura, and impressive hinoki ice chests which ensure the temperature of the fish is perfectly maintained. 

Every inch of the space is strikingly serene, and this feeling is reinforced by the attentive nature of the staff (many of whom joined from Kanesaka’s portfolio of restaurants, relocating from Tokyo). Omakase dining is deeply personal, and the staff facilitate this skillfully. While the chefs introduce each dish and its background, the hosts work wordlessly to help refine the entire experience; upon realising I was left-handed, for example, they swiftly adapted the position of my crockery. The price might be monumental, but it’s all about the little things.

Image courtesy of the Dorchester Collection

Sipping on drinks from hand-cut glasses, we tucked into our first course: a cup of chawanmushi, a savoury egg custard, which was laden with smoky-sweet matsutake mushrooms (particularly adored in Japan during the autumn months). Warmed and suitably settled, we sat back and marvelled as the chefs gathered and prepped the ingredients for the dishes that followed.

First up was bluefin tuna known as toro – a rare variety of tuna with a wonderfully smooth texture.  This was followed by sweet octopus with steamed abalone, a marine snail native to Australia that boasts a distinct buttery taste. Next was kanpachi tuna – another rare gem – and velvety aori ika squid topped with beluga caviar. Watching the assembly of every dish was a real marvel – there’s no plating or hand things off to weary service staff; the chefs simply reach across the counter with each morsel as soon as it is prepared, creating a uniquely intimate dining experience. 

Alongside many more varieties of tuna (a standout was katsuo tataki served with wonderfully fragrant onion soy sauce), we were treated to kobe beef, freshwater eel, Scottish lobster and ebi shrimp, as well as Japanese scallops and bouzushi mackerel. It’s clear that, as well as from the breathtaking prowess of the staff here, what you’re paying for is the freshest and most prized ingredients. Omakase hinges on placing your trust in the chef, allowing them to curate a menu in the moment, but you’re far from uninvolved – rather, you’re invited to learn about everything you taste, becoming a welcome participant in this frankly astonishing process.

Our dinner was rounded off with tamagoyaki (a silky rolled omelette) and miso soup, before a final course of lush Japanese fruits that included persimmon, grapes and melon. Leaving behind the polished granite and cedar of the dining room to venture back into the twinkling lights of Mayfair, it really did feel like we’d experienced something special – even if it didn’t come cheap.

Image courtesy of the Dorchester Collection

THE FINAL WORD

This isn’t just fine dining, it’s the finest kind of dining, and the price is, of course, staggering. But if you’ve got the cash to spare and you’re looking for a particularly lavish way to spend an evening, a visit to Sushi Kanesaka certainly won’t disappoint. 

BOOK IT

Sushi Kanesaka’s omakase experience is priced at £420 per person. sushikanesakalondon.com