Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, W1J 6BR
WLC Rank : 31
Glass from : £ 9 (125 ml)
BEST FORJapanese-accented, pretty plates
Burgundy, Bordeaux, Tuscany and Champagne as well as lesser-known territories
Arresting design including aquariums and sculptures
Sake and Japanese whiskies
Celebrating five years, Sexy Fish has reopened with a new bar amidst the lower level aquariums.
Head sommelier, Julien Sahut was born in the city of Clermont Ferrand at France’s centre, home to the corporate HQ of Michelin tyres. “It’s known more known for cheese and ham than wine,” he says. Formerly of Auberge du Pommier, Toronto, and in London, Hibiscus and China Tang, Sahut, who has been at the venue since the launch, leads a five-strong sommelier army dispensing ferments. These are led by white wines such as the ever-popular white Chinese Cabernet from fantastical Ningxia estate, Moser XV, the restaurant’s own-blended house Sancerre, and limpid Japanese Koshu from Grace Winery. Red wines, meanwhile, may include Seña, Lynch-Bages and Stag’s Leap by the glass or carafe.
Newly expanded is the dazzling selection of Dom Pérignon, be it as a methuselah of 15-year-old “Luminous” or the rare Plenitude P2 from 1996. Other sparklers include Piper-Heidsieck’s Le Secret Goldsmith Edition in magnum, and Billecart-Salmon’s legendary Le Clos Saint-Hilaire as well as Hampshire rosé from Coates & Seely.
Dishes, by head chef, Bjorn Weissburder (formerly of Zuma) may include a snack of wagyu gunkan with miso and black truffle, salad of king crab and udon noodles, and USDA rib eye with seaweed butter. These may find harmony alongside the significant sake selection, or perhaps with a pick from the voluminous Japanese whisky collection, as well as the explorative and classic wine list.
During the lockdown, with co-founder, Josselin Guibert, Sahut continued to refine his third business, “Wine Picker”, an initiative to help wine producers sell more wine online while keeping buyers’ details via their own websites using location-based “chatbots”. The entrepreneur previously founded “Jumijam”, crafting and selling such delights as pineapple and rum jam online and in person. However, the latter did not always prove a gratifying experience. “I remember spending seven hours selling homemade crêpes with homemade jam at Herne Hill market and still making a loss of £7 when the stall’s rent was taken out!”
By Douglas Blyde.