Opened: January 2015
Where is it: St Martins Lane, in the heart of Covent Garden’s theatre district but tucked-away from the tourist crowd.
What kind of food: Contemporary Japanese cuisine ranging from classic sashimi and nigiri to an emphasis on dishes from the bespoke robata grill (Japanese style skewers cooked over hot charcoal).
Who goes: Sushi and sake lovers.
The concept: Moving away from the Wasabi-style, fast-food sushi culture that’s dominated the London food scene, Murakami provides a luxurious dining experience and food that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious.
The interiors: The hanging cluster lights, slate-grey hues and live moss wall are a feast for the eyes.
We tried: A decent selection from the entire menu, recommended by our brilliant host, including yellowtail Carpaccio, baby octopus and pork ribs Robatayaki-style, salmon sashimi (of course) and a selection of spicy scallop and cured duck breast rolls. We also managed to fit in a not-so-Japanese Nutella cheesecake and mango parfait for pudding.
Hero dishes: We’d go back just to have another taste of the spicy snow crab gunkan – an absolute sushi dream.
And the drinks: Not shy of a cocktail or ten, the drinks menu is reason to visit alone.
Star cocktail: Plum Plum Plum – Murakami’s take on the Cosmo is the perfect pre (and post!) dinner drink.
Best for: A sophisticated but laidback atmosphere makes the restaurant ideal for a pre-theatre meal, and we’ll definitely be back for after-work drinks and a sushi side or two…