9 Motcomb Street, London, SW1X 8LB, United Kingdom

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The Pantechnicon building in Belgravia has had a major redevelopment, reopening in late 2020 as a five-storey shopping and dining experience, combining Japanese and Nordic influences. Motcomb Street is now pedestrianised and there are café tables outside the building. Sachi is a 30-seat restaurant in the lower ground floor (there is also Eldr, a Nordic restaurant on the second floor). Sachi is intended to be a Japanese restaurant with some Nordic touches, but using British produce such as Japanese greens grown in Sussex and Scottish shellfish. There is sashimi on offer as well as maki rolls, lobster tempura etc. The head chef is Collin Hudson, who has worked at Dinings and Roka so does have some experience of Japanese cooking. He works with executive chef Chris Golding, who has worked at Zuma and Nobu amongst other restaurants. The general manager is Italian but used to live in Japan and speaks Japanese.

The wine list had 71 full bottles listed ranging in price from £38 to £500 with a median price of £90 and an average markup to retail of 2.2 times. This is unusually low for London, and indeed well below the norms even outside London. Although 71% of the list was French, there were wines from Greece, England and even two from Japan. 36% of the list was under £75, with 51% of the wines priced at under £100. Sample references were Nussberg Weingut Hajszan Neumann Grüner Veltliner 2019 at £46 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £17, Slatnik Radikon 2018 from Friuli at £75 compared to its retail price of £37, and Olivier Riviere Rioja Las Vinas de Eusebio 2015 at £92 for a wine that will set you back £55 in the high street. For those with the means there was Château Le Puy 2009 at £225 compared to its retail price of £151, and La Romanèe Vincent Dancer Chassagne Montrachet 2014 at £350 for a wine whose current market value is £229. There were also two dozen sake bottles on offer, from £35 up to the more sophisticated Kamo Kinsho Junmai Daiginjo Kanemitsu Shuzo from Hiroshima at £220.

We tried two different miso soups. The mushroom one seemed quite simplistic, and I preferred the lobster one, which had greater depth of flavour (13/20). Sushi rice was at the correct temperature and the lean tuna was pleasant enough (13/20). I quite liked the scallop sushi, with the shellfish having good natural sweetness (14/20). Tuna tataki with ponzu sauce had slices of lightly cooked tuna, the acidity of the ponzu working nicely with the rich fish (14/20). The maki rolls were pleasant though for me not especially exciting, the best being toro tuna with buckwheat and spring onion (13/20). The monkfish tempura was good, with the batter having reasonable texture. Also nice was lobster tempura, the shellfish quite tender and the batter reasonably light and crisp (14/20). Fried okra avoided the sogginess that often afflicts this vegetable when cooked, though the flavour was limited (13/20).

Coffee was from a company called Reeds, and was fine. The bill including wine, sake and service came to £165 per person, of which the food element was £74 each. If you order more carefully than we did and shared a modest bottle of wine between two then a typical cost per person might be £95. Service was lovely, and it was an enjoyable evening overall. The restaurant reminds me a little of Roka, which is unsurprising given the heritage of the chefs here. I thought that the tempura dishes were better than the sushi, but this was a nice enough meal throughout. In Japan most restaurant specialise, for example in sushi or tempura or even in a single ingredient such as eel, so it is difficult for a restaurant like this, covering multiple cooking styles, to reach the highest level in any one. In particular, the tempura at top places in Tokyo is feather-light, which no-one in London seem able to replicate. Nonetheless, Sachi offers a pleasant experience, albeit at a price point that reflects its Belgravia location.

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