Sumosan, Mayfair

Speaking of reasonable….

The Vibe

Sumosan is a Japanese restaurant that was born in Russia, transported to Mayfair, and more recently took the Ukrainian food scene by storm. Random perhaps but you can certainly see why the place is suited to its Moscow and Mayfair settings. It is what I like to term ‘corporate comfortable’, slick and reassuringly expensive but with a mood that makes it both a classy dating option and a glitzy preamble before a club. Often compared to Nobu, it is slightly less expensive and far more relaxing. Like Nobu, it also boasts A-list credentials and is, wait for it, patronised by the Chelsea football team- they order it to their VIP boxes.  Don’t let this put you off (or arbitrarily turn you on). The place is stylish, not remotely snobby (although I would wear a shirt) and, most importantly, the food is exceptional.

The Order

This is a four course job (budget dependent). Start off with spicy edamame accompanied by an excellent and light trio of fish tartars (salmon, toro and yellowtail). Then the sushi course. There’s too much on this menu to choose efficiently from so play it safe with a suggestion from the waitress, then add a California and spicy tuna roll for good measure. Panic over. The fish and meat dishes are the highlight so don’t fill up on sushi and perhaps even switch the order of courses. The black miso cod is faultless, chicken yakitori sweet and pliable, and beef sirloin with sweet potato puree gratifyingly rich. If possible, move onto the rich chocolate desserts but don’t force yourself. Drink-wise, this is a meal to start with pink champagne, then move onto spirit mixers- wine is ordered out of habit not necessity here.

The Game

The moment you sit down order your glasses of champagne. Don’t ask your date for input, you’re taking the reins. Be bold and do all of the ordering- hopefully your date will be relieved rather than insulted. Dress to suit the location: men in suits, girls in sophisticated/risqué eveningwear (some leather, some silk). Leisurely graze at the courses, this isn’t the place to speedily glut yourself. Remark on neighbouring couples who, whilst clearly richer than you are, are playing with their blackberrys and don’t seem to be enjoying the same conversational fireworks that are going down where you’re sitting. You’ll feel very comfortable in this setting so no need to overdo the drinking. Plus there’s the glorious Donovan bar at Brown’s Hotel for afterwards, so you can make your moves over a glass of red in the ‘naughty corner’ (their words not mine).

The Faults

I won’t sugercoat this, it ain’t cheap (the Wagyu beef scales the charts at £60 for a small plate). But it’s worth it in terms of food and atmosphere, as it’s as buzzing on a Tuesday night as it is on a Saturday.

Sex Factor

5. The whole evening is both glamorous and intimate, and the Donovan bar will make sure you convert any efforts made during the 3-hour meal before. Plus it’s in Mayfair so you’ll have no problems guiding them straight into a cab back to yours.

Downstairs at the JBar

For a more intimate experience (as shown in the pic), choose the Jbar at Sumosan, seating 30 diners or up to 50 for a cocktail party, complete with its own dedicated bar and sound system. DJs can be booked by the venue and their bar is licensed until 1.00am.

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