The age of fusion style cuisine has had a somewhat evolutionary experience, from overpriced gimmicks to the supposed a la mode of fine food. Whilst our growing love for palatial medleys have yielded some sumptuous conclusions, the city’s luxury restaurant goers continue to salivate at the sights of a scallop sashimi sans the classically British, Wiltshire truffle shavings, or a butter poached lobster tail minus the exotic flare of Garam Masala spices.
Creating waves in the haute couture dining world, and in close proximity of the sweeping shadows of Knightsbridge’s designer mecca Harrods, lies Sumosan Twiga. This seductively, slick gastronomy and lifestyle retreat has refused to succumb to London’s infatuation with culinary mashups, in favour of two, distinctively pure and deliciously vibrant menus, of quintessentially Venetian inspired Italian, and innovative modern Japanese.
The epicurean voyage began in Russia’s capital of Moscow, as the humble, standalone Japanese Sumosan, launched in 1997 by high powered entrepreneur and restaurateur, Alexander Wolkow. Post a colossal spree of critical acclaim, and a multi award-winning menu including ponzu tuna belly and spicy scallop rolls, it was Alexander’s formidably driven daughter Janina who grasped the spotlight with the glittering London launch.
In 2002, the gourmet spell of Sumosan’s firstborn was cast within the beating heart of our brashly opulent Mayfair neighbourhood, however, it was fourteen years later when the resplendent cultural crossover made its debut. Joining forces with the eminent Wolkow family, was Formula One tycoon, Flavio Briatore. Flavio also served as the brainchild behind the equally enticing Italian restaurant Twiga, set inside the billionaire’s tax haven of Monaco’s Monte Carlo.
The high-octane partnership saw these two dining destinations jet set to the extravagance of Belgravia’s designer clad sanctuary of Sloane Street, for the 2016 incarnation of the three-floor restaurant, Sumosan Twiga. Here the capital’s glitterati are invited to indulge in a menu overseen by group head chef, Bubker Belkhit, which includes the likes of Italian black truffle ravioli, followed by should you wish, a Japanese wagyu, sando sandwich
Sandwiched between its chic iconic neighbours, Chanel and La Perla, the exteriors of Sumosan Twiga were dressed in an effortlessly provocative armour of jet cobra black and bronze gold, accessorised with yellow gold lighting. After a VIP meet and greet by the dashingly gallant team, I was ushered into the classy, monochromatic designed entrance and up the curvaceous, winding staircase to the first-floor dining room.
Claiming the interior reins was Italian architect, Michele Bonan, renowned for his prestigious portfolio with the luxurious hotel group, J.K. Place. For a locality synonymous with obscenely brazen riches, Michele’s design touches assumed a demure luxe allure and finesse, with wooden boiseries, muted tones of various grey shades and powder white high ceilings and walls, lined with black and white photography.
The Covid curse had unfortunately kept the intimate settings of the cocktail bar out of reach, leaving me gazing lustfully at the grandiose of the smooth marble surfaces, and backlit onyx in neon yellow, which showcased some of the most enviable collections of premium whiskeys, spirits and sakes.
The evening kicked off with the mixologist’s favourite, a glitzy twist on the Aperol Spritz, The Blonde Daisy. Served in a powder dusted balloon glass, this idyllic medley of Belvedere vodka and Aperol blended beautifully into the bittersweet flavours of mandarin juice and peach, further uplifted with a bursting crispness from the Moet et Chandon bubbles.
Tailing the cocktails were a selection of signature starters of a mini sushi platter, wasabi prawns and a burrata. The meaty large prawns in a delectably light and crispy batter had really hit the spot, coupled with the powerful zesty hit of wasabi mayonnaise coating, and sweet tangy softness from the mango salsa.
The fresh, vibrant colours from the salmon and tuna sashimi popped from the platter and were also accompanied by a soft Albemarle maki roll filled with tender salmon and creamy avocado. The burrata was a plate of pure rich bliss, with its velvet cream and helping of ripe Datterino tomatoes.
A mid-meal pause was filled up with an increasingly booming atmosphere, killer DJ tunes and my second cocktail, Purple Rain. This was served on a silver platter in a martini-style glass, with a spritz of perfume for the full Instagram story affect. Whilst on first sip the concoction appeared a more style over substance creation, the flavours from the real, tangy pomegranate juice twirled with the smooth Tanqueray 10 gin soon set in, with the added almond kick from the Ratafia liqueur.
Attentions soon resumed back to the food of black miso cod, chicken yakitori, and vegetable fried rice ordered from the Japanese partition, whilst the homemade, black truffle and burrata ravioli from the European continent proved futile to resist. The glistening, butter like cod flesh, enveloped with a sticky sweet miso marinade had simply melted in the mouth, completely overshadowing the otherwise, tender grilled chicken wrapped in a dark, soy sugar syrup like sauce.
The beautifully delicate ravioli held its own stance on the table, with the lip-smacking pairings of a soft burrata and truffle filling with lightly seasoned, silk butter sauce. The richness from the dinner was perfectly toned down with the dry delicate fizz from the icy chilled, Casa Canevel prosecco.
The sweet treat finale arrived in the form of a warm, dark chocolate fondant, served inside an intricate, snow white sugar dome lattice. Whilst the melted white chocolate topping could have benefitted from a lower sweetness kick, the stunning premium quality of the dark chocolate still shone through from the gooey liquid middle and was complemented perfectly with a scoop of real vanilla bean ice cream.
In a nutshell
Sumosan Twiga tends to enter the headlines for its rowdy raucous brunch shenanigans, sparkler topped champagne magnums, and scantily clad crowds however, they can never be condemned for not taking their sublime cuisines seriously. The plethora of beautiful people watching opportunities, oversized artisanal martinis, and two, deliciously curated avant-garde menus has seen this destination boast an enviable portfolio in the wealthiest, ultra high net worth locations from Dubai to Monaco to Courchevel.
Whilst the mischievous rendezvous of the fashionable underground club remains out of bounds, Sumosan Twiga continues to remain one of THE jet hopping, beau monde spots to flaunt your style, sass and cash.
Address: 165, Sloane Street, Belgravia, London, SW1X 9QB
Phone: 0203 096 0222
Images courtesy of Sumosan Twiga