Crowned Chef of the Year in 2015’s YBFs, Adam Rawson has recently returned from a trip to Japan from which he’s taken inspiration for his latest venture, Sakura. Popping up, or rather down, in Borough Wine’s ‘Brewery Below’ space, Adam and the team have transformed the intimate space to celebrate the Japanese cherry blossom season, otherwise known as Sakura.
The space really is intimate. Guests are greeted by Adam as they walk down the stairs, as the kitchen is totally open plan – try and nab a spot at the ‘chef’s table’ if you can where you’ll see Adam blow touch anything he can get his hands on.
Sakura features izakaya-style dishes designed for sharing; in true supper club style. We worked our way through an impressive 9 courses but were left totally sated without being uncomfortable. Every dish felt like it had a purpose and built nicely through the night. You’ll start with pickled cucumbers with sesame and ponzu, snack on fiery tuna tataki and make a mess with your mackerel cups – one of the highlights of the night for us.
We were presented with some of the best tofu we’ve had in London, and a plate of mushrooms which had soaked up all its umami flavour. Our table went wild for the Salmon, in a rich broth and the Wagyu was a hit amongst the men. Personally I’d like to see the beef combined with the leek a little more harmoniously – but this is the exciting thing about Adam, you get the sense that he’s playing and you’ll never get quite the same thing twice. This is his playground and you’re invited to experience the magic with him. It’s quite infectious.
As you would expect from a pop-up in Borough Wine’s basement, the wine pairing was superb and exceptional value. You’d be a fool to go it alone. The Californian Roussanne was so rich and buttery we had to have another before moving on to a red with very obvious cherry – clever. The sparkling sake will make you re-think everything you know about the Japanese rice wine, and was superb alongside the milk cheesecake (which makes your mouth go numb – intentionally we are told).
Dinners will only be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and there is only a 7.30pm sitting, however with spaces already nearly sold out, we are hopeful they’ll extend.
This feels like a truly special spot to catch Adam on his journey – we urge you to snap up a space before it’s too late.