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Caprice Holdings' Sexy Fish has made the biggest splash in Mayfair dining for yonks, right down to Rita Ora singing at the opening bash. A cool £15m has been spent on interiors that include acres of onyx, a Damien Hirst bronze mermaid wall panel and Frank 'Guggenheim' Gehry lamps on the lava-stone bar – although our abiding memory is of iPhone torches lighting up the dim space as they scan the menu. If sexy means putting all the goods on display, this is a wet dream. The food is the sexiest thing of all, taking Zuma's approach as a template and repackaging it for the Mayfair audience: fresh, chunky tuna tartare with truffle; melting beef-rib skewers; perfect tempura; juicy lamb cutlets with a pungent gochujang sauce, and a fleshy giant Madagascan prawn with subtle shisho salsa. This is new-style comfort food served in luxurious, if noisy, surrounds (complete with a weekend DJ) – though staff need to relax into their roles as ringmasters of this fabulously OTT spectacle.
In 2015, Sexy Fish had ambitions on becoming the Chiltern Firehouse of two years ago, with all the buzz surrounding it, and absolutely impossible to get a table. The difference is that at Chiltern’s name isn’t stupid or implies it serves sexy food and that the food was actually good. I loved it on my first visit and liked it on the other times too. Sexy Fish on the other hand, despite the &20 million they spent on d&cor, didn’t impress me on either ambiance or the food. Of course it is a nice space, but it is massive and not intimate in any way and it is somewhat gaudy.
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