When I visited Japan two years I had some of the greatest culinary experiences of my life including the highest level multi-Michelin-starred Kaiseki cuisine and omakase menus at intimate sushi restaurants presided over by sushi masters. These are not experiences that are easily replicated in London; there is the Araki and a few others such as the infamously impossible to book Sushi Tetsu but really good Japanese cuisine is still few and far between. However, Chef Endo Kazutoshi, a third generation sushi master, is set to bring the traditional experience to luxury London hotel, The Berkeley.
As a dedicated sushi lover, I felt incredibly fortunate to be invited down for a press preview of Endo at The Berkeley. One of the beautiful rooms at the hotel has been transformed to a bespoke sushi bar with just eight seats, much like I experienced in Tokyo and Osaka. Chef Endo himself is present throughout the fifteen course omakase (chef’s choice) meal to discuss the preparation of the intricate dishes. The menu highlights the epitome of his skills developed over twenty years working in Tokyo’s top restaurants and as one of the pioneers of legendary restaurant brand, Zuma.
Guests for the evening can start with Japanese cocktails created by the Berkeley’s famous Blue Bar mixologists before being led into the beautifully designed space for the commencement of the menu.
Alongside the menu is an optional carefully curated sake and wine pairing featuring some of Chef Endo’s favourites chosen to perfectly complement the meal.
Ingredients are as fresh as can be and Chef Endo particularly favours Cornwall for high quality produce but also uses ingredients from his native Japan.
Of course with a meal like this there is no margin for error and every detail is minute and intricate with beautiful crockery and glass ware too. Dishes may change due to ingredient availability but our menu consisted of the following:
Summer English corn with Japanese cold ‘dashi’
Ōtoro and premium signature seaweed.
Cornish spider crab with caviar
Scottish scallop and ‘Akami zuke’ nigiri
Fried monkfish with Japanese sudachi lime
Lemon sole usuzukuri, seared ōtoro, smoked Scottish salmon.
A selection of nigiri including:
Ōtoro from Spain
Langoustine from Scotland
Red Mullet from Cornwall
Squid with caviar from Portugal
Mackeral from Norway
Wagyu tempura and Japanese umami dashi with summer truffle.
Yellow tail shabu shabu.
Kagoshima wgyu beef, rice and miso soup.
And as is traditional a light dessert consisting of yuzu tart, pistachio cake, Matcha dust and goma ice cream.
It was seriously an honour to meet Chef Endo Kazutoshi and to experience his incredible cuisine. His pop-up, ‘Endo at The Berkeley’ is running in partnership with Robin Leigh’s Lord Simon Restaurants and will be available for booking Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with sittings at 6pm and 8.30pm. The experience is priced at £150 with the wine and sake pairing priced separately.
020 7201 1619
We were guests of The Berkeley.