Sumosan Twiga really shouldn’t work. The Knightsbridge restaurant unites the cuisine of Italy and Japan, drawing inspiration from two specialists in their respective fields: Sumosan by Janina Wolkow and Twiga by Flavio Briatore. Maybe they tossed a coin over whose name came first in the amalgamation. Although Sumosan Twiga is part of the Briatore’s Billionaire Group so perhaps Big Flavio felt magnanimous.
Anyway, Sumosan Twiga shouldn’t work. With its surprisingly restrained decor and ever-so-chic bar, the place looks a million dollars – as you’d hope considering its alma mata. But Japanese and Italian? An odd mix, no? Has anybody ever scoffed down a pizza and experienced a craving for prawn tempura? It’s possible, prawn tempura is great, as is a Four Seasons, but so are tequila slammers and rollerblading and you probably shouldn’t combine the two.
And yet Sumosan Twiga works. The secret to its success is simple: really, really good food, served in a manner that makes you wonder why Japanese x Italian isn’t a staple in restaurants across the land. I suppose if it were that easy everyone would do it.
What to eat?
We had a chef’s tasting menu – the chef in question being Alessandro Scala, previously of COYA. Mini beef tacos punch way above their size – the taste fills up your whole mouth and will have you nodding in wistful approval for several minutes after their consumption.
Burrata is wonderfully creamy. Just a top-tier burrata, itself obviously a top-tier food even in its weaker incarnations. This is not one of its weaker incarnations.
Then sushi, naturally. It’s as good as you'd expect, other than the sashimi which is better – pure and soft as a summer cloud. My friend had never eaten sushi before (blame Finding Nemo) and professed herself a fan. So there.
More burrata, now in ravioli form, covered in oil and melted butter. Yeah it's as moreish as it sounds. It's paired with teriyaki-glazed chicken – well, they arrive together, I don’t think you’re meant to eat them simultaneously – and that teriyaki-glazed chicken may be the finest teriyaki-glazed chicken I’ve ever eaten.
Pudding is Sumosan chocolate fondant encased in a lattice sugar dome. The dome is a construction of such delicacy you almost feel bad breaking into it. But you should because the fondant is fantastic and totally worth a brief act of gastronomical vandalism.
What to drink?
As mentioned, there’s a very swish bar that I imagine will serve you any cocktail or spirit your heart desires. It stretches across the back of the room and its bottles are backlit by a golden glow. Makes boozing not merely look attractive but straight up aspirational.
For wine, we had a bottle of Vie Cave Malbec and I can pay no greater compliment than to say it more than held its own against the food. There’s also a welcome flute of champagne on arrival, always a nice touch.
Will it bankrupt me?
Sumosan Twiga is a three-story restaurant situated in Sloane Square and owned by F1 tycoon Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Group – those looking to dine on a budget should probably look elsewhere.
However the Best of Both Chef’s Menu is £120 for two before 8pm and that is genuine value for money. (Taste of Sumosan / Twiga Chef Menus are both £90 but you really want the combi platter for the full experience.)
Wine and cocktails I leave to your discretion. And if you go a-la carte you’re on your own.
Anything else to note?
As somebody prone to ‘one more mouthful’, I never fail to be impressed at a good tasting menu’s ability to leave you sated yet not overly stuffed. Wander down Knightsbridge in a state of well-fed euphoria.
Be careful not to get too euphoric and spend half your salary on a pair of designer sunglasses.
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165 Sloane St, SW1X 9QB; Sumosan Twiga