A hotel restaurant offering Chinese and Japanese dishes on the same menu might sound horribly like a food-court buffet, but this super-swish dining room in the City’s Four Seasons is a delight for deep pockets.
With senior chefs culled from the kitchens of Royal China, Sake No Hana and Yauatcha, diners are in very safe hands. Finely turned-out sushi ranges from classic eel maki to the addictive umami hit of spicy tuna with truffle karashi and parmesan flakes. Elsewhere, the menu divides into conventional starters (‘small eats’) and mains.
From the small eats, go for springy squid deep-fried in a subtly flavoured batter of salted egg, and steamed diver scallops, still soft and quivery; then from the bigger plates, Szechuan chicken and wasabi king prawns, both the right side of spicy.
Chinese cooking done to this high a standard is a rarity in the City, but be warned that you’ll pay handsomely for it: a basket of eight prettily pleated dim sum clocks in at £18, and small portions overall meant that we cast envious looks every time the house speciality whole Peking duck was paraded around the room.
Still, no one expects dinner at the Four Seasons to come cheap, and the setting is stunning, with soaring pillars and embroidered silk screens making the most of the high ceilings.
To drink, a neighbouring bar is stocked with saké, shochu and Japanese whisky, while the Euro-leaning wine list has suggestions for specific dishes. Along with La Dame de Pic next door, the Four Seasons has brought gastronomy and glamour to a neglected corner of the Square Mile.