If you like sushi, The Araki in Mayfair should now be top of your restaurant wish list.
It’s become the latest venue to join the three Michelin star club, announced Monday in the Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland 2018.
Not heard of it before? Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Araki opened in 2014, and is the work of “Oyakata” (sushi master) Mitsuhiro Araki.
2. Mr Araki’s former restaurant, which was based in Ginza, Tokyo, also had three Michelin stars, but he closed it to set up in London.
3. The restaurant is tiny, with only nine seats. Every seat is at the chef’s table (an ancient counter made out of cypress), so you can watch every dish come to be in complete detail, before popping them in your mouth.
4. All of the food is prepared and served by Mr Araki, and is done so in traditional “sado” (tea ceremony) fashion – hence why the restaurant is so small.
5. When it comes to the menu, you don’t get to choose – only the chef’s omakase sushi set menu is available (which is £300 per person, drinks and service not included).
6. The food itself is “Edomae sushi” – a style of fast-food sushi that became popular in Tokyo 200 years ago. And Mr Araki only serves sushi. Don’t expect any karaage (deep fried chicken), tempura, teriyaki or dishes that feature meat. The focus is purely on seafood and shellfish, cooked and raw…
7. …And in a departure from Mr Araki’s food in Tokyo, in London he only cooks with European fish. And is liberal with shavings of truffle.
8. The Araki doesn’t swerve from the set menu, so if you have dietary requirements, this is not the restaurant for you.
9. It’s the fifth UK restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars, alongside Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and Alain Roux’s Waterside Inn, both in Bray, Berkshire, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Park Lane and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea.