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A two-Michelin-star Japanese restaurant in Mayfair.
Meaning ‘born of nature’ in Japanese, Umu picked up its first Michelin star in 2005, a year after opening, and its second twinkler a decade later. There’s a spenny kaiseki (essentially an haute cuisine tasting menu) or you can pick and choose off the à la carte. Must-haves include the zingy hand-cut red prawn tartar, delicately sweet-salt-smoke eel kabayake or buttery yellowtail nigiri (the sushi rice is immaculate, fyi). Also memorable: sake-cured Scottish langoustines with tomato jelly and specks of wasabi. It’s flawless.
The vibe is very ‘traditional Kyoto’, with clean lines, glossy woods, super-polite staff and the windows draped in dark linen fabric. Known for being very discreet, it’s a favourite with power brokers in handmade suits. If you don’t have access to an expense account, consider visiting at lunchtime, when you can order one of the more affordable bento boxes (currently £35-£49).
14-16 Bruton Place
|Transport:||Tube: Bond Street or Green Park|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £280.|
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