Murakami – St.Martin’s Lane

 In Wine & Dine

Murakami is a contemporary modern Japanese restaurant specialising in sushi, sashimi, rolls and robata grilled skewers.

Japanese food is one of my favourites and as I hadn’t seen or heard many reviews about this place, I thought it would be a great place to check out at the same time as catching up with two of my nearest and dearest friends; Marie and Lou.

DSC00003

Although Murakami only opened in December, it seems to be doing very well for itself, as it was already bustling when we arrived. Upon entering the restaurant, you can recognise its emphasis on a contemporary dining experience, with parts of the place paying homage to the five elements of Japanese philosophy: wind, sky, earth, water and fire from the plants, atmosphere, stonemade crockery and robata grill.

DSC00097

DSC00098

DSC00065

DSC00006

As we were seated, we were swiftly greeted by complimentary Sake shots…

DSC00005

DSC00007

DSC00009

DSC00010

which I have to admit is an acquired taste! It was sweet, with a sour element and left an after-taste of burnt alcohol, even though it wasn’t warm. As you can tell by my description, it was confusing enough for my palette as that sentence was for you to read!

Lou was running late, and Marie and I couldn’t wait, so we ordered some starters and cocktails…

DSC00013

A ‘Spiced Rhubarb Fizz’ for Marie and a ‘Clementine & Kaffir Lime Leaf Margharita’ – a classic, with an Asian twist. It went down a treat.

DSC00016

For starter, I had Salmon Sashimi, which was deliciously delicate.

DSC00017

DSC00019

Marie went for the Seaweed Salad and boy oh boy did I have food envy. Being the lovely lady is, she let me nab a bit. Tender but crunchy seaweed that tasted as fresh as if it’d just been caught from the ocean, it was ladened with sesame seeds which added that special something.

DSC00021

Once Lou arrived the girls gave me my favourite job: choosing the wine…

DSC00026

I decided we should go for the Macon, ‘Crepillionne’ by Domaine Fichet – a White Chardonnay from the Burgundy region, France. I actually visited this particular domaine where it was produced the summer before last when I went wine-tasting during my holiday. As Macon has been a favourite of mine since then, I knew I had to pick it,

With its colour a rich straw-coloured gold, its taste is just as full bodied. Its aromas hint at acacia, verbena and lemongrass through its acidity but also suggests mandarin and grapefruit with its fruitiness alongside honeysuckle for its sweet edge. These nuances form a fantastic base and contrast to go with seafood and spiciness of the sushi.

DSC00028

DSC00030

DSC00033

DSC00034

DSC00035

“No..This isn’t my second glass in 30 minutes… *side eyes*”

DSC00036

We chose our mains: a mix of rolls and robata grill skewers – and we were not dissapointed. A huge platter of the stuff came out and we thought for a fleeting moment our eyes were too big for our bellies, but alas, the moment was brief and we soon chowed our way through.

DSC00037

California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, duck and veggie rolls…

DSC00038

DSC00039

Trust me when I say try the spicy tuna roll with a side of teriyaki mayo. Just look at that juicy piece of perfection…

DSC00042

Just don’t drop it in your soy sauce like I did – oops!

DSC00044

As you can see, we’d made headway on the rolls and it was time for us to start on the skewers…

DSC00046

Grilled Aubergine in teriyaki and ginger sauce with fiery chillies on top.

DSC00047

Mouth-melting apple and soy-sauce scallops with wasabi.

DSC00049

DSC00056

My favourite – Miso and yuzu mustard marinated pork belly which was bursting with intensified flavours.

DSC00050

 

DSC00058

Finally, the tempura prawn and avocado roll followed.

DSC00063

DSC00054

The food is utterly divine but I do have one irk, that I felt the need to mention. We spent over 4 and a half hours at Murakami mainly due to the fact waiters forgot multiple dishes and kept us waiting a long time even with reminders. Although I appreciate evenings in London restaurants can be busy, the lack of communication that the waiters gave to explain where our dishes were did not help the situation and I would have expected the service to be better considering the cost. Nevertheless, they were profusely apologetic and offered us free cocktails on the house…

DSC00068

Lou and I went for Murakami’s version of the ‘White Russian’ which was heavenly while Marie opted for the ‘Yakitori Old Fashioned’, which she was very happy with.

DSC00069

DSC00070

DSC00071

DSC00072

DSC00073

Now, it’s no secret that everyone has a separate stomach for pudding, even when you’ve consumed your body weight in sushi…When a Nutella cheesecake is on the menu, it’s hard to say no… so, we didn’t!

DSC00074

DSC00076

Layers of hazelnut chocolate and cream with a beautifully baked biscuit base.

DSC00075

If you fancy a leisurely dinner somewhere relatively new and love Japanese food, I would highly recommend Murakami. Although the service was slower than expected, the staff are very friendly and the food and drink is amazing. Overall, it was a lovely evening filled with Sake sipping, sushi and giggling.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search