Wagamama founder Alan Yau’s most ambitious venture yet – a one-off Japanese fine dining restaurant – is set to open at the end of the month. Created by architect Kengo Kuma, Sake No Hana is located on St James’s Street in central London.
Part of the Grade II-listed Economist Plaza, the venue is spread over three levels. While featuring an escalator connecting the ground floor with the first, Yau describes the interior as having ‘the spirit of traditional Japanese craft, materials and details to realise an introspective and retrospective environment’. The ground floor sushi restaurant contains a bamboo lattice suspended below the ceiling, while the main restaurant on the first floor features perimeter seating and a mezzanine level with several private dining rooms.
Sake No Hana was originally scheduled for launch in February this year, but the project suffered setbacks, including a change of name and the departure of graphic designer Kenya Hara. Yau replaced Hara with his regular graphics consultancy, North Design, which created the graphics for Busaba Eathai. Formerly known as Cha Cha No Hana, Yau’s company Hakkasan rebranded it to ‘emphasise the connection to Japan by using the word Sake’, according to a spokeswoman. The full name roughly translates as ‘Sake of the flower’. The new eatery comes ahead of Yau’s next dining venture, Cha Cha Moon.