Tea has been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries, with the first documented evidence dating back to the 9th century. Only fitting then, that Sosharu, Jason Atherton’s modern Japanese restaurant in Farringdon, tips its hat to this.
If you’re expecting a traditional tea ceremony though we’re afraid to say that you will be disappointed. Instead, the team here have taken the great British tradition of afternoon tea and given it a distinctly Japanese twist. Kick things off with a Wabi cocktail, a refreshing mix of matcha, shochu (a Japanese spirit) and Pernod lifted by prosecco and fragrant jasmine before choosing from a small but interesting selection of teas including kukicha with cherry blossom and classic sencha.
There are no finger sandwiches in sight here. Start with a savory monaka; light, crisp monaka rice cake filled with a silky smooth monkfish liver pâté, followed by a choice of tuna, salmon or vegetable temaki. This isn’t temaki (hand roll) like we’ve had before though, arriving looking almost like a Japanese taco with a curved, deep fried nori sheet cradling the filling. Our must-order is the tuna tartare topped with sushi rice, tobiko (flying fish roe) and creamy spiced mayo.
The sweet selection changes regularly, but is made up of four mini cakes. Matcha ice fingers – filled, iced sponge fingers – were a little tough, but rhubarb taiyaki was the epitome of kawaii with sharp rhubarb encased in crisp fish shaped pancake-like batter. Make sure you save yourself for the chocolate petit gateau with sesame praline and miso caramel – the perfect, moreish balance of sweet and savoury.
With the exception of the petit gateau, the savoury options on offer were of a better standard, but overall, this is an interesting twist on the traditional afternoon tea that’s worth a visit.
£28pp with tea/£35pp with sparkling cocktail, sosharulondon.com
64 Turnmill St
Got you in the mood for afternoon tea? Here’s our round up of the best afternoon teas in London.