Blythe’s VerdictMy fatuous boast about having eaten in all of the Japanese restaurants in the city has once again been challenged by the arrival of Sakura Tree, where Hot Hot once stood. In a bid to chase ever-receding victory, I popped there for lunch, today.
I was joined by long time reader, first time quester Robyn, who was fresh back from a trip to Budapest that had included some Michelin star dining.
As is often the way with new places, the interior of Sakura Tree feels like it has a bit of bedding-in to do. It has a neat feel to it, but will be more settled in a few weeks, I suspect.
The menu is extensive with most of the classic options covered. I was keen to try the sashimi platter, which is always a winner with me. We decided to share some chicken and veg dumplings and some pumpkin croquettes, and we had to sample the miso.
The soup was first to arrive and unexpectedly contained pieces of salmon. It was delicious – one of the best misos I’ve had in the city.
The dumplings were very neatly presented and packed with flavour. The croquettes were likewise elegant and the sweetness of pumpkin was nicely balanced by a lovely savoury sauce.
The sashimi platter was the main event and showcased outstandingly fresh fish with great clarity of flavour. The tuna was particularly good.
We’d supped rather a lot of good green tea, so I had to visit the facilities before leaving. The sign for the “Gentle Toilet” is right up there with the best restaurant signs I’ve seen.
So overall, Sakura Tree is a great new addition to our portfolio of sushi places. The food is impressively good. It’s very much in the conversation with places like Kanpai and Harajuku as the best place for Japanese food in the city. I’d strongly recommend a visit.
Being a massive fan of Blythe and his Lunchquest blog when I had a Monday off work I immediately asked him to go on a quest. After a quick Twitter chat, newly opened Sakura Tree was decided as the destination.
I’m a huge fan of Japanese food, I was excited to see this wee place had opened up and had reasonably priced sushi. We both opted for the miso soup and then spilt the pumpkin crouquettes, the dumplings, and a sashimi set.
While all the food was tasty and very fresh, I was a bit surprised to see pieces of salmon in my miso soup. It didn’t take away from the taste but I’m also not sure if it added anything and I found it a bit odd.
The dumplings were scrumptious and I was secretly delighted that Blythe let me have the extra one 🙂 The pumpkin croquettes were equally sweet and savoury and enjoyable, but the real star was the sashimi set.
We shared a 10 piece set that comprised tuna, salmon, scallops, sea bass, and octopus. All of the offerings were super fresh and nicely chilled sat atop a bowl of packed ice. I nixed the octopus as I don’t eat seafood with tentacles but can confirm that the rest was a delicious treat. The tuna really stood out as being super fresh and I wish we’d gotten extra of that instead of octopus.
So overall, I was well pleased with my first Lunchquest outing and hope that I was good enough company to warrant a repeat quest!
Blythe scores Sakura Tree
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
Today’s questers were: Robyn, Blythe
We ate: pumpkin croquette, dumplings, sashimi, miso soup
We drank: green tea
We wore: leopard print scarf, camel coat
Total bill: £32.10