Haruki Murakami once said: “It’s good when food tastes good. It’s kind of like proof you’re alive.”
Murakami on St Martin’s Lane is proof.
Its prime location in the heart of the West End is keeping the restaurant busy, and so it should since the quality of the food is high, the presentation is excellent and the Izakaya style is authentic; Izakaya is the name of a style of Japanese eating establishment in which an assortment of delicacies are served to accompany a variety of beers, wines and spirits.
The wooden furniture blends seamlessly with the evocative decor, creating a strong-looking Japanese interior. The star of the show here, however, is the food.
My party and I shared our dishes since the menu is tapas-style. The seaweed salad is wonderful with a nutty flavour, while the tuna tartare works brilliantly with the avocado salsa it’s served on top of. The winner though is the new style sashimi, beautifully presented seared salmon in hot oil with yuzu soy. It’s simply brilliant and so moreish.
For the mains we excitedly ordered a variety of sushi – crab, salmon and prawn – along with some grilled barbecue, which had a great flavour. The sushi looked amazing and each mouthful was sublime. The favourite at the table was the tempura prawn king roll. Just brilliant.
As was the Wagyu beef. We were encouraged to order at least one thing from the grill and I’m so glad the excellent staff did, because the meat was up there with the best I’ve tried in London, particularly delicious with the truffle butter that melts over it.
Cleverly most of the desserts feature matcha, which aids with digestion. The pick of the trio was the chocolate fondant, with oozing matcha in the middle.
Whether you’re seeking a pre-theatre meal in the West End or simply somewhere to visit with friends or your partner, I urge you to seek Murakami out for proof that Japanese food in London can be done to a very high level.
For more information visit Murakami.london