More often than not these days, Londoners become aware of restaurants through their social media presence and if you took one look at Sumosan Twiga’s Instagram page, you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s cliente aren’t really there to enjoy the food. That’s because the restaurant’s feed is one endless parade of beautiful women in tight dresses, photos of supercars parked up outside the entrance and videos of raucous brunch parties complete with sparklers attached to magnums of Champagne.
Sumosan Twiga is just as glamorous in real life, a four-storey property on Sloane Street featuring a winding staircase that connects a basement nightclub, first-floor dining room and grandiose top floor bar. The dining room has the feel of an old school members’ club that has been reimagined for the age of luxury minimalism - think muted grey tones, black and white photography lining the walls and marble surfaces aplenty. On our midweek visit, the crowd was mainly groups of young, glamorous women or couples on dates and the room was busier when we left at 10pm than upon our arrival at 7pm (perhaps highlighting that Sumosan Twiga is the type of restaurant for people who don’t need to get up for work in the morning).
Don’t let the Knightsbridge bravado put you off though, as beneath Sumosan Twiga’s glamorous sheen is a very capable kitchen. The restaurant’s original incarnation in Mayfair (back when it was just called Sumosan) saw the kitchen specialise in Japanese cuisine, but that has now been joined by Italian favourites too, with guests able to order from either the Japanese or Italian menu, or opt for the ‘best of both’ tasting menu which features signatures from each. Wanting to get the full experience, we opted for the latter, and for the most part, weren’t disappointed.
The dish of the night was undoubtedly the beef tenderloin; grilled to perfection, it melted on the tongue and was finished off with a slick of sweet chilli soy. Elsewhere, velvety burrata was paired with saccharine Datterini tomatoes and pillowy focaccia, while bolognese was as rich and comforting as you’d expect. The only dud were the California rolls, which tasted dull rather than fresh, the crab lacking its inherent sweetness.
For dessert, we kept things light with a helping of mochi balls, although it was hard to resist our sweet-natured waiter’s suggestion of the warm chocolate fondant that is served under an intricate dome lattice constructed from caramelised sugar. If you prefer sweet tunes over sweet treats, head here at the weekend’s for Sumosan Twiga’s famously rowdy brunch parties, where you might come across dancers frolicking in oversized Martini glasses or Superman flying through the restaurant with a bottle of champers in each hand.
It’s true that Sumosan Twiga plants its flag firmly in special occasion territory with its sky high pricing (£12 for a side of truffle and Parmesan chips, for example) but there’s no denying the glamour and sense of fun at this place, or the excellent people watching opportunities. So as the old saying goes, if you’ve got it (the cash, that is) flaunt it.