Test Driving Sexy Fish - Richard Caring brings va va voom to Berkeley Square

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So what do I need to know about Sexy Fish?

Other than the fact it's probably the hottest restaurant to open in London since Chiltern you mean? It would be pretty impossible to have missed the wall to wall A-list coverage of its opening. Even Hot Dinners Senior had heard of it when we told him we were going. It's already that famous.

If you have somehow managed to miss all that build-up, then the key facts are that it's the latest opening from Richard Caring (Ivy, The Caprice, Scott's) and - as the name suggests - it is a Asian-influenced seafood restaurant which has had MILLIONS lavished on it.

Where exactly is it?

You'll find it on the bottom right hand corner of Berkeley Square - on the same street as Novikov and Nobu Berkeley. Look out for the beret-wearing doorman, the waterfall window - oh and the red Neon signs.

Where should we meet for drinks beforehand?

Well there's the May Fair bar on this street or Mr Fogg's for cocktails round the corner and The Guinea isn't too far away. But frankly if you've managed to get a table, you'll be wanting to head straight in and have one of the cocktails you'll have seen all over instagram at the bar. There are plenty of stools as well as a row of banquette tables to perch at. And while there are plenty of cocktails to enjoy here, the one you might want to go for - as we did - is Shipwrecked (£14). It comes in a treasure chest with the cocktail in a tiny glass bottle with a bowl of pineapple slices to dip in edible sand.

And where should we sit?

Tricky one, this. There's clearly a VIP section, raised up at the end of the dining room furthest from the bar. This is where we spotted Mr Caring himself entertaining the Mayfair massive. Other than that, the dining room's a pretty democratic mix of tables, although there is a nice spot for a larger group situated in the middle section of the room beside the pass. Interestingly, one of the most sought after spots is going to be another room entirely - the private dining room downstairs is where there are two of the world’s largest coral reef tanks at either end.

And the food?

The menu at Sexy Fish divides into; raw bar, caviar, tempura cold and hot dishes, skewers, market fish and robata. And - the things we do for you - we did our best to try something from almost every section, kicking things off with the Sexy Fish roll (£14) - a sushi roll for the low-carbers without rice but stuffed with yellowtail tuna, salmon and kingfish and rolled inside sheets of daikon and nori. It was perfectly nice, but the dishes that really stood out for on the evening were:

  • Smoked eel (£12.50) a deconstructed sushi roll this bowl featured rice (our only carb of the evening) topped with eel with a barbecue glaze and covered with a flurry of shavings of frozen foie gras.
  • Baked Alaskan king crab (£45) - a leg of king crab slowly roasted with a smoked shiso bearnaise sauce. Spendy but VERY good.
  • Isle of Mull scallops (£15) topped with pickled apple and jalapeno sauce (although be warned, there's three of them so be prepared for a fight to the death if you're a couple).

And make room for some smoked Japanese sausages (£4) served with a miso mustard.

You might not have expected the desserts to be such a big deal in an Asian restaurant, but as with other Caprice Holdings restaurants a lot of thought has been given to this section. We had been told on Twitter to try the chocolate fondant, but our waitress urged us in the direction of the warm vanilla rice pudding (£9) with banana, macademia AND the house cronut and we weren't sorry to have made the switch.

There's also a wide range of ice-creams including their own soft serve. We went for a scoop of the rice crispy green tea and malted milk and honeycomb (£2.75 each) - both of which were both as delicious as they were inventive.

What's the wine list like?

There's plenty to enjoy by the glass - including a wider range of more expensive wines through their Coravin system. We ended up with a bottle of Argentinian Torrontes (£36) which went pretty well with most of what we tried.

Overall impressions?

London hasn't seen an opening like this since Chiltern opened. It's glamorous, fun and - yes - sexy. But what's also a bit of a revelation is the food - Sexy Fish has a menu that we reckon most foodie folk would really enjoy working their way through. If you can, use whatever influence you have to score a table on a Thursday to Saturday night when there's a DJ in residence. The restaurant is open till 2am and by the time we left the music and buzz were such that we felt like we'd just enjoyed dinner at Studio 54. This place is a LOT of fun.

Sexy Fish is at Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BR. Find out more about Sexy Fish

Hot Dinners dined as guests of Sexy Fish. Prices were correct at the time of writing.