The first question you should have about Sachi at the Pantechnicon is what is a Pantechnicon and why does it sound like I’m about to eat dinner in Ancient Greece? That’s a good question, and one that after having visited The Pantechnicon several times, we feel qualified to answer. Firstly, it’s not a removal van, despite what you may have stumbled across on Wikipedia. Secondly, it’s a 12,000 sq. ft building that was home to an art gallery, furniture store, and carriage shop when it opened in the 1830s, and since 2020 has been a place where you can buy incense sticks, Japanese homeware, Scandi clothes, and drink coffee. You’ll find this one-stop-shop right in the centre of pedestrianised Motcombe Street—picture a huge, almost 200 year old, white stuccoed, doric-columned building, filled with more foliage than the Belgrave Square garden down the road, and a Japanese restaurant in the basement that you should absolutely know about.
While the building itself is all very exciting, Sachi’s appeal isn’t entirely reliant on that. The thing that will stand out in this underground restaurant is the coolness of it all. From the front-of-house staff and servers that greet you with an air of nonchalance, to the sushi chef slicing hamachi behind a counter, the shadow-heavy Japanese aesthetic, and semi-private booths that scream lowkey 30th birthday celebration. Basically, it’s all very chilled. So chilled that we suspect everyone that works here is trained to speak under 40 decibels at all times. And once you’re here, you’ll start to feel very calm too.
The menu is split into two parts. The first focuses on nigiri, sashimi, and maki rolls, including a chef’s selection, while the second covers large and small plates and is organised by meat, seafood, and vegetables. Here you’ll find tender garlicky beef short ribs, a lobster tempura so crispy on the outside and tender on the inside that you’ll wonder how it’s scientifically possible to achieve both, and a spinach and sesame salad you’ll probably eat in three, very big, mouthfuls.
Importantly, you should know that when you’re here, you should be spending a significant amount of time on the sushi. While dishes like the deep-fried monkfish are great, the sushi—including a creamy hotategai on warm vinegar-ed rice, melt-in-the-mouth hamachi, and buttery otoro—is among the best you’ll find in London. It’s not cheap, but the five-piece moriawase for £23 is a recipe for a good time. Order that, plus a pork belly here, some crunchy okra there, plus a salty-sweet miso aubergine to share, and you’ve got the makings of a great night in a moody basement restaurant that feels far away from the streets of London.
Fresh, and doused in a delicious sesame sauce, we’re big fans of this salad.
This crunchy star-shaped okra is earthy and crisp. The ultimate bar snack.
Akami, otoro, hotategai, hamachi—Sachi has all the classics. You can choose between sashimi or nigiri, but we’d recommend a mix of both. Just make sure you don’t miss the scallop nigiri, it’s essential.
Toro Maki Roll
For those who prefer their sushi rolled, the toro maki is generously filled with minced tuna, spring onion, and covered in buckwheat.
Crispy, meaty, and unbelievably light. If you’re only ordering one of the seafood plates, make it this one.
Sweet, meaty, and grilled to the point of melting in the mouth, this chargrilled aubergine is the best veggie dish here and should definitely be on your table.