November 2018: Mitsuhiro Araki has announced that he is leaving England to return to Japan with his family in March 2019; he will hand over the restaurant to his deputy, Marty Lau.
Harden's survey result
“Sushi as an art form, with every piece designed to the last detail” is at the heart of an unforgettable trip to this illustrious Mayfair nine-seater, where Marty Lau is the new master after maestro Matsuhiro Araki returned to Japan in spring 2019. The place is “soooooooooo expensive”, but what’s been striking ever since its debut in 2014 is how few diners begrudge the mesmerising bill, instead appreciating the intense, personal theatricality of the endeavour; and the “exceptional quality and sourcing of the ingredients”. Early feedback on the new regime says it’s “not affected by the loss of Mr Araki, and still a very special experience” – whether Michelin maintain its three-star rating in autumn 2019 remains to be seen…
“Hands down most memorable restaurant experience of our lives” – Mitsuhiro Araki’s Mayfair import from Tokyo (where, as with here, he also held three Michelin stars) offers “the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine”: “mind-blowing, mouthwatering food” (“too many amazing dishes to mention”) “lovingly handmade in front of you at a tiny 9 seater bar”, where “Mr Araki makes you feel like guests in his living room”. Is it expensive? Flippin’ ’eck it is. But “ignore the price: it’s a complete cultural immersion and should be compared to a night in top seats at the opera, not a mere meal!”, is the view most folks seem content, nay, ecstatic to take. They say “If you can afford to splash-out, this is a must-try”. At the margin are slightly more sceptical types (or maybe just non-billionaires) who find the prices “galling” but ultimately feel it’s a Faustian pact that works for them: “It’s utterly brilliant and I loved going; but my goodness, it’s expensive, at about £40 a mouthful with the same for a modest glass of wine. But I’m so glad I experienced it. One to save for…”
“Can heaven be far away?” – “If you can afford it, Mitsuhiro Araki’s Mayfair restaurant is a unique experience” and a “world class” one that for a second year won the highest food-rating of any restaurant in the UK. “Be one of nine diners enjoying a specially prepared meal from one of Tokyo’s top chefs” that’s “as close to Japan as you can get in London”. “You feel like you are at a theatrical performance, sat in line watching the numerous chefs, and Mr Araki himself, and there are too many amazing dishes to mention”. “The price is world class too” of course but “worth every penny for what you get” (in the view of all reporters, including those who are themselves Japanese). “Clients can’t fail to be impressed… and at that price so they should be!” STOP PRESS. On October 2, Michelin finally woke up, and awarded the Araki the three stars it should have granted last year.
“Peerless” (and that goes for the bill too…). Given the bankruptcy-inducing set price of a meal, it would be easy to feel let down by this Mayfair 9-seater, where “world-leading expert in his field Chef Mitsuhiro Araki” (who earnt three Michelin stars in Tokyo, and gave them up to move to London) “prepares and serves the sushi, right in front of you”. However, not one of the reports we received on this “stunning, intimate, authentic, and completely unique experience” were anything other than totally rapturous, and it scored the survey’s highest food mark this year: “bliss… if at a cost”.
|Wine per bottle||£28.00|
Unit 4 12 New Burlington St, London, W1S 3BH
|Tuesday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Wednesday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Thursday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Friday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Saturday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|
|Sunday||6 pm‑8:30 pm|