The welcome: No
restaurant before has ever drawn quite so much attention to the aphrodisiac
quality of the food served within its doors, but then Richard Caring, whose
establishment this is, has never been a restaurateur bothered by procedure –
nor, for that matter, received conventions of good taste. Instead, the snappily
efficient staff (‘do you have a reservation this evening, sir?’) are friendly
and polite, although the briskness of the welcome and the speed with which
tables are turned reminds you that this is not a place for relaxation.
Sexy Fish – the ultimate Marmite description – is placing
itself very much in the high end. This is not a restaurant that’s going to be
offering lunchtime deals or discounts. It’s instead going for a full-on,
thrilling experience, with top-notch food, brilliant cocktails, supremely
confident service and the panache that comes from a restaurateur who knows the
business inside out. For some, it may all be de trop, but that’s part of the
fun. This is London dining in 2016, and it is firing on all cylinders.
The room: Most
restaurants don’t have a Frank Gehry crocodile on the wall, nor bamboozling
Damien Hirst murals around you. If your idea of fine dining is murmuring around
linen tablecloths, you will be disappointed. Instead, swap that for a buzzy
Berkeley Square location with lashings of A-list celebrities (is that Sam
Taylor-Johnson on the next door table?) and the sort of top-notch cuisine that
you would associate with chefs who have learnt their trade at the exalted likes
of Nobu, Hakkasan and Zuma.
The food: It is,
of course, far from cheap. One would struggle to have a three-course meal here
for much less than £150 including service, and that’s before some of the wilder
reaches of the wine list. The sommelier hints at £750 bottles of ‘very lovely
Chardonnay’; for that amount of money, one would expect Caring himself to
appear at your table to pour you a glass. Nonetheless, a rather humbler bottle
of Argentinean Torrontes (£36) was far from bad, and it left plenty of time to
contemplate the menu.
The food, as you might expect, is very strong indeed. Most
of the bases are covered, with some flair. Sashimi of yellowtail is delicious,
as is maki of crispy prawn. The prices are high, but then so is the quality.
Crispy squid at £9 is no more expensive than some deeply inferior places, Main
courses of monkfish tail with béarnaise sauce and miso-coated sea bass are
superb, although you will want to order a couple of salads; grilled avocado
with tofu and charred tomatoes do the job exceptionally well, although the two
together will cost the best part of £25.
Would we go
again? If we could get a
reservation, and had very deep pockets, sure.
|What||Sexy Fish restaurant review|
|Where||Sexy Fish, Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London , W1J 6BR | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
16 May 16 – 23 Feb 17, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to book your table|