Back in Bloomsbury: RAI rises again

RAI, a highly rated but short-lived Fitzrovia omakase that closed down last year, is to reopen next week at a new address not far away, in Bloomsbury.

The new venue has tables for just 10 guests, who will pay £130 a head for a set meal, while another eight sit at a sushi counter with a conventional menu or sushi sets starting at £75.

The previous incarnation of RAI earned rave reviews in the 2023 Harden’s guide for its “melt-in-the mouth Wagyu and exemplary sashimi“. Its co-founder, ex-Nobu and Sake No Hana chef Padam Raj Rai also runs Hot Stone in Islington’s Chapel Market.

The restaurant is sourcing prime Japanese ingredients such as Kobe beef from Hyogo prefecture and A5 Kogoshima wagyu; Sanpuku nori from the Ariake Sea; Koshihikari rice, and rare 38-year-old aged soy.

Dishes include Ikijime seabass garnished with yuzu beurre blanc, kombu and citrus oil; Hand-dived Scottish scallops with yuzu, shisho pesto & British caviar; and Unagi & ethical foie gras with English truffle.

RAI opens on Wednesday 7 February in Bailey Street, four minutes’ walk from Tottenham Court Road tube station.

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