With lockdown lasting way longer than we all anticipated, one of life’s simple pleasures, dining out, was off the menu. With the hospitality industry finally reopening, many are chomping at the bit to give their palates a tasty workout. Joining the throngs, Sabi Phaguara headed over to Sumosan Twiga to experience its multinational menu.
If like me, you spend hours scrolling through pictures of restaurants and food on Instagram, you’ll already know what a place is like before heading there. And Sumosan Twiga on Sloane Street, London, is every bit as glamorous in real life as the pictures depicted on its page.
The understated venue is somewhere between a lingerie shop and an exclusive jeweller. But once inside, this four-storey property with its spiralling staircase connecting the dining room, a splendid bar and a nightclub will give off the vibe of having entered a rather grandiose place.
The mezzanine level is home to the main dining room, which like its interior, is minimalistic in its decor – think grey hues, monochrome photography artistically lining the walls, paired with bronze accents and plenty of marble surfaces. There’s a small oval bar area with just a handful of stools from where you can sip an arrival drink while watching the bartender whizz up some tasty concoctions.
But it was the food I was here for, so we headed to the table to sample what would be a feast. The menu is split down the middle, with one side holding the Venetian inspired Italian options and across the border (page) sits the Japanese one.
There’s nothing stopping you from ordering a bit from both. Two people trying to make a decision can take an absolute age, and if there’s one person above all others who knows the food, it’s the chef. So, armed with our best smiles, we politely asked him to choose for us.
And so the feast began with a selection of small plates – Wagyu Beef Tacos, Edamame Gyoza Miso Cod and Prawn Seared Salmon. Hands down, the latter two were my favourite being a fish enthusiast, and there was plenty of fish filling to get that all-important protein hit.
The firm dish of the evening again was the fish for me – the Sea Bass with aubergine and fried onion was top. The aubergine was far from a mush which can often be the case, and the sea bass was meaty and cooked well. The Maki Rolls T&T tuna tartare and creamy truffle, fried leek hit the spot for a sumptuous truffle fix. Not too over empowering and just the right amount of creaminess.
The Grilled chicken yakitori was not to be sniffed at either, with flavours from the thickly spread sweet and sour sauce over the meat offering a great pairing with the side of vegetable fried rice.
To be honest, with all that food, there wasn’t much room for dessert, but one look at the Sumosan chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream hidden under a mound of a spun-sugar dome had me dive into it anyway. Greedily I didn’t even ask my guest if she would like the last bite (we shared) as I polished it off, satisfactorily licking my lips when it was all gone.
When we arrived for our midweek visit early evening, the place was only just coming alive, but by the time we finished our meal, approaching 9.30 pm, the well-heeled restaurant was heaving with glamourous women, groups of friends and couples on dates. The toe-tapping music was in full swing, and the place was abuzz with chatter and laughter.
The basement nightclub may be shut right now thanks to covid, but you almost felt like you were in one in this very room. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but when we’ve all been in lockdown for so long, it’s a pleasant welcome to be able to come alive again.
Sumosan Twiga’s original life began in Mayfair, in its early days it was simply called Sumosan and was touted as one of the capital’s best known Japanese restaurants. Before relocating to its new home in Knightsbridge, it teamed up with Italian businessman Flavio Briatore’s equally celebrated Twiga in Monaco.
This culinary crossover of a tale of two cultures may not sound like it should work on paper, but the very capable chefs in the Sumosan Twiga kitchen have made it work.
Sumosan Twiga – Where and How?
Prices for a meal will set you back around £50-£60 per person without drinks. Sumosan Twiga can be found at 165 Sloane St, London SW1X 9QB. For more information, visit sumosantwigalondon.com.
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