'Taiko' is Japanese for drum: the room in which it sits, within the Conservatorium Hotel, was used for percussion lessons in the hotel's previous life as a music school. The manuscript books and students are gone now, and in their place is a sleek, moody dining space, whose decor is a pleasing mix of contemporary minimalism and Japanese-style touches – including a wall of sake bottles, and tasteful black lacquered hanging lights.
The kitchen, under the helm of executive chef Schilo van Coevorden, offers an Asian fusion menu that spans sushi, dim sum, Wagyu and more, with thoughtful extras like sake pairing options. We went all-out with the eight course taster menu (€110 per person). Highlights were fantastically fiery dumplings and a light, refreshing papaya noodle salad. Desserts were delicate and imaginative – the mini matcha ice creams a bittersweet way to round off the meal.
Taiko's culinary prowess and corresponding wallet-stretching price tags makes it, unsurprisingly, a regular haunt of the rich and famous – on our visit we spied French superchef Raymond Blanc sitting in the corner, which speaks volumes for the quality of the food. A slightly more substantial vegetarian selection wouldn't go amiss – but that aside, Taiko's beat is one we'd gladly dance to again.