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Taka Mayfair

Bronze Award
London, W1J 7QH ·Website ·Call020 3637 7677

SquareMeal Review of Taka Mayfair

Bronze Award

Following their original site in Tokyo, restaurateur Andrey Datsenko and his sister Anastasia have brought their Taka brand of Japanese food and cocktails to Mayfair. The plain wood interiors of this two-floor space create a brooding, minimalist vibe, accented by stylish staff dressed head-to-toe in black. On the ground floor, the restaurant turns out an extensive menu ranging from tataki and tempura to salads and sashimi platters designed for sharing: chunks of juicy octopus pepped up with yuzu sauce, perfectly crispy prawn tempura, and a plate of sushi comprising small-but-mighty California rolls plus a soft-shell crab roll glazed with unagi sauce and spicy mayo all get our vote. Larger plates, meanwhile, include rib-eye steaks and meat skewers with a twist – we loved the chunky scallops wrapped in smoky pancetta, and the grilled pork belly glazed with tangy homemade BBQ sauce. To finish, the über-creamy matcha-infused tiramisu is an innovative alternative to oozing, warm chocolate fondant with a snappy sesame wafer. Head to the basement bar (standing-room only) for a post-dinner drink, where Asian-inspired cocktails such as a Plum and Thyme Prosecco Smash are served alongside saké and Japanese whisky.   

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Food Hygiene Rating


18 Shepherd Market, London, W1J 7QH

020 3637 7677


Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 6-12M


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1 Review 

Alex G

29 July 2020  
Food & Drink 4
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 3.5
Substance and showmanship

Desperate times call for innovation. Into the fray comes Taka, a newish venue in Mayfair’s Shepherd Market, just reopened after a make-over. It’s hard to know how much semblance there is between this restaurant and the Kyoto original, but the backers of the brand have plans and a second London outlet is already slated for Marylebone. Our host for the evening couldn’t answer the Kyoto versus Mayfair comparison question but was at distinct pains to point out that Taka did not constitute just another high-end Japanese restaurant. Rather, the concept here is to take classic Japanese cooking principles and marry them with locally sourced British ingredients. A more cynical interpretation might be that it’s trying to appeal to as broad a target market as possible. The décor feels distinctly Japanese (light wood, minimalist and intimate – read cramped) but the vibe is more London (slightly-too-loud electronic music and an awful lot of showmanship). If you’re after your salmon being fired with a blowtorch, your salad bedecked with foam or your sushi dipping sauce served from the vertebra of tuna fish, then you’ve come to the right venue. All this said, if you actually focus on what you’re eating, then it’s pretty damned good. There are elements of over-engineering (I was not convinced that my salmon was enhanced either by the blowtorch or the addition of heirloom tomato; and it was unclear to me whether or not the salad benefited from three days of preparation, as we were informed), but Taka delivered where it mattered. The sushi was superlative, the monkfish magnificent and the wagyu wonderful. Here, Taka struck the right balance in terms of exquisite ingredients, preparation and presentation. The wagyu was the stand-out dish of the evening, albeit priced at a premium to the others on the menu. For the more enterprising, there is a range of sake options available (we rated the pear-flavoured digestif) complemented by wines, beers and spirits. The white Burgundy (from Corton-Charlemagne) was a perfect foil to the food. The venue seemed pleasingly busy for only its second week of business, which augers well. Taka certainly has potential.  

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