Jason Atherton’s Japanese izakaya-style restaurant, Sosharu, has launched a new afternoon tea menu inspired by the iconic wagashi (confectionery) and tea ceremony traditions of Japan. Developed by executive pastry chef, Emily Argent, the menu comprises a selection of sweet and savoury dishes, alongside unique tea blends and specially designed cocktails.
Available Monday-Saturday from 12pm-4pm, Sosharu’s Japanese afternoon tea experience begins with a range of savoury items. Replacing the traditional British fare of finger sandwiches, the selection includes the likes of savoury monaka, a twist on a traditionally sweet dish of Japanese wafer, alternatively topped with fresh tuna sashimi. Open temaki, one of Sosharu’s signature dishes will also make an appearance; a taco-like tempura fried seaweed shell filled with salmon, tuna or winter vegetables, and sushi rice, topped with tosazu jelly, spiced mayonnaise and avocado.
Moving on to the sweet dishes, guests can enjoy a selection of meticulously crafted treats inspired by wagashi, traditional Japanese confectionary designed to be enjoyed with tea. From matcha iced fingers to chocolate sesame praline Petit Gâteau with miso caramel, each of the creations combines classic pastry techniques with Japanese flavours. A standout addition is the Taiyaki, a traditional fish-shaped cake made using a pancake-style batter and filled with rhubarb and white chocolate crème patisserie, sure to become an Instagram star with its striking design.
Central to Japanese culture, and an integral element of the afternoon tea offering, is an extensive selection of green tea blends. Rich in antioxidants and curative properties, the teas include kukicha with cherry blossom, hojicha with ginger, genmaicha with matcha and sencha asamuchi. For something a little stronger, guests can also opt for one of two cocktails created by Robin Wilkie, bar manager of 7 Tales, Sosharu’s basement bar. Wabi combines rhubarb stock, yuzu and contratto bitter with peychaud bitters, prosecco and lemon sorrel, while Sabi blends matcha, shochu and Pernod Richard with prosecco and jasmine flowers.
Commenting on the new menu, Alex Craciun says, “Japanese sweets are so creative and visual that I felt inspired to develop a menu to showcase this unique element of the cuisine, afternoon tea presents this opportunity perfectly. It’s been fun to delve the world of Japanese patisserie and I hope our guests will enjoy it as much as I have!”