With a brand new wagyu menu AND London’s first cocktail omakase experience – we thought it was high time we returned to Machiya!
We’d recommend having dinner first before heading downstairs to the subterranean bar. So first things, first – the food. Known for its traditional Japanese comfort food, Machiya on Panton Street has launched a separate menu wholly dedicated to wagyu. Yes, wagyu – Japan’s famous beef, celebrated for its richly fat-marbled, tender, buttery-tasting meat. At Machiya they’ve used an Australian A3 and A4 grade wagyu to create four contemporary Japanese dishes that showcase both delicate and complex flavours and innovative cuts. £18 will get you either wagyu tartare – carefully cut and blended with yuzu-kosho, pickled cucumber and breakfast radish before being topped with a Clarence Court yolk or wagyu bolognese where wagyu striploin is made into a sauce and served with homemade egg fettuccine. If you’re prepared to spend a little more, ‘wagyudon’ could be yours for £25, a dish in which Machiya use sliced wagyu and onions which have been simmered in sake and soy sauce and then served with a Clarence Court yolk, pickled ginger and chives, served on steamed rice with crispy shallots and shredded daikon.
A favourite with Instagrammers – the wagyu katsu sando is your priciest option at £32 and consists of a panko-breaded wagyu fillet soaked in Machiya’s house tonkatsu sauce and served in a toasted Tokyo milk loaf filled with shredded cabbage. It really is every bit as buttery soft as they say but is all too easy to hoover up in a few bites.
Downstairs then, you’ll find Machiya’s mixologist, who is ready and waiting to take you on a mystery cocktail expedition. A variation on the popular Japanese dining trend that allows the chef to create a unique multi-course meal (omakase essentially means ‘chef’s choice), here you let the fate of your cocktails lie in the hands of Machiya Bar’s mixologists.
For £40 a head, on weeknights cocktail aficionados can enjoy a welcome drink and three bespoke cocktails. It’s a cosy drinking den, where you’ll journey through cohesively crafted beverages based on your drinking preferences – whether it’s gin, rum, vodka or sake that float your boat. Dimly lit, this speakeasy still feels undiscovered, so is a good one to have up your sleeve if you’re after a quirky midweek cocktail in central. We started with a mini Bellini welcome drink whilst we decided what mood we were in, moving on to the refreshing ‘enperā’ – a champagne based cocktail served in a flute with cognac, grapefruit bitters and lychee. Also of note was a sake-washed, rum-based cocktail and there are also some cracking non-alcoholic options too!
The Cocktail Omakase experience will run weekly Tuesday – Thursday from 6 – 9pm. The experience lasts one and a half hours and guests will need to pre-book. Tables are limited to 4 people.