Before we get started I’d just like to let you know that I am about to essentially tell you to ditch all technological culinary advancements in exchange for cooking on stones.
Sakagura tucked away behind Regent St is one of London’s best kept secrets. It’s not a huge chain like Wagamama so most haven’t heard of it. The authenticity of this Japanese restaurant is warming, the majority of the staff are Japanese and are dressed in traditional Japanese wear and not in a cheesy way.
One of my favourite things about Japanese food is their beef, Wagyu beef is one of my favourite things, I’ve been known to travel far just to taste something new being done with Wagyu and pay a hefty amount for the pleasure. So when we at Gee were told that Sakagura were adding stone grilled Wagyu steaks to their menu we couldn’t book in a date quick enough.
This style of cooking is called Ishiyaki and it’s a traditional way to cook meats. A hot stone (or pebbles) is used as your grill. The meats are placed on to the hot stones, which are preheated to around 400 degrees celcius which is perfect for searing and cooking the meats to however you like your steak. At Sakagura the chef sent our steaks out with the instruction to grill on each side for 30 seconds, and this best thing about the stones being brought to your table individually is that you are in control of just how rare or well done the meat is. The menu for the Ishiyaki is pretty simple as it should be, there are 3 cuts of meat to choose from, Argentinian Sirloin, Argentinian Ribeye and Australian Wagyu Sirloin. 5 sauces that regardless of which cut you choose compliment the steak perfectly (I’d suggest asking the differences in each so that you can find the taste you are looking for). The you have a selection of sides from Steamed rice to Steamed buns and a green salad. The steaks then selves come preseasoned from the kitchen and are served raw (there are some restaurants that serve the meats already on the stones, which means if you’ve asked for medium rare by the time it reaches your table it’s medium well).
The dinner menu for the Ishiyaki steak includes Hot Sake Pairing which is great for the snowstorm that we attended in the middle of but we opted out and went with Japanese whisky from the bar. The Suntory Whisky Hakushu single malt whisky with it’s lightly peated natural notes truly complemented the stone searing and salts on the steak. So we’d recommend ordering a double (no rocks no mixer) to really appreciate the complexities of the steak.
Sakagura is located at 8 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BU