Two Michelin stars Children is tucked away on a quaint cobbled street in Mayfair behind a discreet wooden door. Inside, the decor is elegant, the atmosphere calm and the lighting low, making for a long, leisurely lunch. After a nine-year stint in Japan at three Michelin stars with Kyoto Kitcho, Chef Yoshinori Ishii worked in Geneva and New York before becoming Executive Chef at Umu. Within six months of opening in 2004, Umu had achieved a Michelin star.
“Umu” translates as “born of nature” with the restaurant using traditional Japanese ingredients, as well as local ingredients to create inventive Kyoto-influenced cuisine. Fresh fish is of course a key element of the menu and as Chef Ishii was not satisfied with the fish from London suppliers, after careful research he decided to source his fish from Cornwall and Scotland. From the bowl of thinly sliced fresh rock bass to the chef’s special selection of sashimi including Cornish octopus, lobster, sea bream, mackerel and mullet.
Crispy, lightly battered Japanese-style fish and chips served in a paper cone were a worthy complement to the sashimi. With a sake menu of over 100 to choose from. Highly recommended, the sparkling sake from Ichinokura Sake Brewery proved to be light, crisp and fruity. Not content with cooking exceptional food, Chef Ishii is also an accomplished potter and calligrapher who has created delightful menus and ceramic tableware, including chopsticks.
Address: 14-16 Bruton Place, London, W1J 6LX