If a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square today, would the song be ‘You Sexy Thing’? The newest sexy thing here is Sexy Fish, which officially opens on October 19. The Caprice Group has poured mind-blowing amounts of everything into transforming a former branch of NatWest bank into one of London’s most opulent restaurants. The decor is the sort of stuff you’d want for your new flat, if you happened to run a hedge fund: 20 ‘fish lamps’ and a four-metre-long black-silicone alligator by Frank Gehry; three Damien Hirst sculptures; 100 tonnes of Iranian onyx on the floor; a hand-printed ceiling designed by Michael Roberts, Style Editor-at-Large of Vanity Fair; a seafood display so tall you have to stand on a ladder to fill it. No area of surface, however tiny, goes undecorated by something. Every single lamp is dimmable, so they can adjust the light levels throughout; this is made possible by five kilometres of electrical cabling, enough to stretch from Trafalgar Square to Notting Hill. Sadly, the coral reef aquaria in the private dining room downstairs had not been finished when we had our tour of the place. It will eventually house up to 100 species. The water capacity of the tanks is 15,000 litres, enough to fill the average bathtub 187 times.
The bar at Sexy Fish boasts the largest collection of Japanese whiskies in Europe, and the most expensive costs £180. That’s £180 a glass. Not one for shooting, in other words. Or mixing with Red Bull.
The menu at Sexy Fish hasn’t officially been published yet, but we’ve had a sneak preview. This sashimi platter features, and so does buttermilk popcorn chicken. There’s a lot of fishy and shellfishy stuff, and a lot of stuff cooked on a robata grill. And also a strong emphasis on ideas imported from Asia. Prices are what you might expect from Berkeley Square – though nothing is as expensive as the Rolls-Royce Phantom Maharaja Peacock in the window at HR Owen just up the block. (Just under half a mil, if you’re thinking of buying.)
You can’t tell from this picture, but the windows behind the bar incorporate a waterfall. More like a gently flowing sheet of water than Niagara Falls, but a waterfall nonetheless. The fish lamps swim overhead, while one of Damien Hirst’s mermaids boogies on the bar to the left.
The current craze for punning names reaches some pretty dizzying heights at Sexy Fish. This one is called the Miso Thirsty.
Sexy Fish is at Berkeley Square House, W1J 6BR.
Take a look at five awesome new venues to check out in October.