With a futuristic sliding entrance door (set off by placing your hand on a sensor), a plush, dark interior and polished service, Umu is guaranteed to impress. The bill too is likely to leave a lasting impression, so it’s best to save this swanky venue for a special occasion unless you have an expense account. (There was no shortage of high-powered diners on our most recent visit.) On such a celebratory occasion, opt for the multi-course tasting menu (£115) and you’ll get to explore an elaborate range of Kyoto-style kaiseki cuisine, presented on attractive dishes.
The modern sushi doesn’t always make the grade, though, so stick to the classic version. Luxury ingredients abound on the à la carte: wild Scottish lobster tempura, wagyu beef tataki (grade 9) and Irish abalone steamed in saké. For a less bank-breaking taster of the menu, come at lunch for a set meal (such as a bento with grilled fish, meat or tempura, or somen noodles) – all served with soup, salad and a dessert. Our nigiri sushi selection (£38) was of the utmost quality. The ample wine and saké lists are worthy of exploration too.