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8 Heddon Street
020 3405 7230
Planting itself on Heddon Street, this concept comes from the man who brought you Shoryu Ramen, Tak Tokumine. Partnering with two-Michelin-starred sushi haven The Araki (the home of sushi master Mitsuhiro Araki), Sakagura offers the same renowned, authentic Japanese cuisine but in a more accessible, relaxed setting aimed at a young crowd and spread over two floors. Beneath the ground floor’s intimate booths and saké bar, you’ll find an 11-seater kappo bar (a Japanese-style chef’s table similar to The Araki’s). Moodily decorated in dark woods, copper, brass and textured concrete, Sakagura’s aim is to represent thoroughly traditional Japanese cuisine, aka ‘washoku’. The menu therefore incorporates a range of yakitori, sushi, sashimi and bento boxes, as well as Wagyu steak and lobster, which is served on a shichirin (charcoal grill). More down-to-earth options include hand-pulled udon and soba noodles. There is, of course, a list of saké-based cocktails: the Karai Saké blends chilli-infused saké with silver Tequila, agave syrup and grated ginger. Japanophiles, this is where you belong.
From: 03 September 2018
To: 05 June 2019
3 courses and unlimited champagne, Japanese bloody mary and house wine. £45 per person. If you choose to order the Bottomless Brunch menu this must be taken by all guests at the table. Unlimited drinks will be served for 1.5 hours only. One glass at time will be served to each guest.
Look for the "£" icon when booking (offers only available on certain days/times)
8 Heddon Street
020 3405 7230
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 382m
Oxford Circus Tube Station 498m
Heddon Street 13m
Regent Street 111m
Mon-Sun 12N-3pm 5-11pm (Thurs-Sat -12M Sun -10.30pm)
Sakagura’s subterranean ‘kappo’ counter features an open kitchen with a theatrical robata grill and saké-lined walls. On the larger ground floor, the dining and bar areas include intimate noren booths.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
As a complete Nipponophile and someone who would happily survive solely on sushi, I try to limit my visits to the flashier restaurants, knowing that most Japanese places are much more expensive than a western peer. My friend and I were going for a nice girly dinner and had booked a table for two, this increased to five, literally 10 minutes before we were due. Initially, they were going to cram us into a booth as it was a busy Thursday night, but they did manage to accommodate us on a much more commodious table even before we got our drinks.
The menu offers something for everyone from Wagyu steaks to Robata to Sushi. Let’s start with the sushi. I ordered the omakase selection, which is circa 16 pieces for £39, a little pricey, but they were exquisite. The tuna was fatty and yielding, the sea bream lovely and buttery, completed with perfectly done eel. My companion had a super Wagyu steak served deliciously pink and chargrilled on the outside, offering a lovely level of smokiness and I am reliably informed that the Black Cod Tonkotsu Ramen is spectacular. (It’s a limited-edition special on the menu, so go and try it immediately before you miss it).
They have a great sake list and they will steer you right in your selection without breaking the bank.
The service was efficient and unintrusive, if not a little inattentive when our drinks were running low. This place is a great addition to Heddon Street.
Food + drink: 3
Sakagura constitutes a recent addition to the self-styled Heddon Street ‘restaurant quarter’, located one block to the west of Regent’s Street. Given its location and the fact that it is the only Japanese offering here, it will probably do well enough. However, a recent visit was profoundly uninspiring. It’s hard to fault the décor of dark wood, copper and brass; all nice and modern and on-trend. There are also more intimate booths and dining bar downstairs where punters can watch the chefs in action. The service was also efficient in a classically unemotional Japanese way. Furthermore, the presentation of the food was first class, our bento boxes arranged as if they were works of art. However, Sakagura, singularly lacked atmosphere; what the food gained in aesthetics, it lost in taste and quantity; and, the prices aren’t cheap. Begin with the atmosphere. The music was loud and felt distinctly out of place on a weekday lunchtime. Maybe it gets better in the evening, but a more discerning policy in this respect is needed. Those dining on our visit were seated in a disparate way across the restaurant, spread out and isolated, magnifying the place’s relative emptiness. Again, a poor strategy, which could be rectified. Turning to the food and the portions in our lunchtime bento boxes bordered on the stingy; just three very small pieces of sashimi, for example. Moreover, if you are going to charge a £5 supplement for a miso black cod main, then at least make sure it comprises more than about two mouthfuls. The food was tasty, but far from ground-breaking. At this price point (£25; or clearly more if you want the cod or beef teriyaki), I would rather go to nearby Ikeda or Sakana-Tei. Neither may be as modern or as ‘cool’ as Sakagura, but they certainly do better food at this price point.
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