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RESTAURANT REVIEW: SEXY FISH, MAYFAIR

Step into Sexy Fish and be transported to a posh paradise in the heart of Mayfair. Matching the daring name, Sexy Fish packs a punch, from its vibrant decor to its delectable menu of Asian seafood offerings

Words: Alexander Larman

Sexy Fish: It’s quite a bold name. No restaurant before has ever drawn quite so much attention to the aphrodisiac quality of the food served within its doors, but then Richard Caring, whose establishment this is, has never been a restaurateur bothered by procedure – nor, for that matter, received conventions of good taste.

If your idea of fine dining is murmuring around linen tablecloths, you will be disappointed. Instead, swap that for a buzzy Berkeley Square location with lashings of A-list celebrities and the sort of top-notch cuisine that you would associate with chefs who have learnt their trade at the exalted likes of Nobu, Hakkasan and Zuma.

It is, of course, far from cheap. One would struggle to have a three-course meal here for much less than £150 including service, and that’s before some of the wilder reaches of the wine list. The food, as you might expect, is very strong indeed. Most of the bases are covered, with some flair. Sashimi of yellowtail is delicious, as is maki of crispy prawn.

The expansive Sexy Fish dining room with Frank Gehrey's 13ft crocodile artwork

The expansive Sexy Fish dining room with Frank Gehrey’s 13ft crocodile artwork

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The prices may be high, but then so is the quality. Crispy squid at £9 is no more expensive than some deeply inferior places, and they don’t have a Frank Gehry crocodile on the wall, nor bamboozling Damien Hirst murals around you. Main courses of monkfish tail with béarnaise sauce and miso-coated sea bass are superb, although you will want to order a couple of salads; grilled avocado with tofu and charred tomatoes do the job exceptionally well.

Berkeley Square probably hasn’t seen such a high-profile opening since the days of Mortons and Benares, and Sexy Fish – the ultimate Marmite description – is placing itself very much on a similar level of prestige and price.

This is not a restaurant that’s going to be offering lunchtime deals or discounts. It’s instead going for a full-on, thrilling experience, with top-notch food, brilliant cocktails, supremely confident service and the panache that comes from a restaurateur who knows the business inside out.

 

The Knowledge

Cost
Dinner for two about £180

Good for…
People watching and fine dining at London’s hottest restaurant

What to eat…
The monkfish is about as good as you’ll get in town

What to know…
It’s fully booked ages in advance, but don’t be afraid to ring on the day and you might be lucky

Berkeley Square House W1J 6BR; 020 3764 2000; sexyfish.com

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