No expense spared
Situated, appropriately, on Sackville Road, with Picadilly Circus on one side and the Royal Academy on the other, Sackville’s is something of a change from the mid-priced international chains and tourist traps that otherwise adorn this central London hotspot. It’s stylishly-decorated; it has proper cocktails that go some way to earning their £12-15 price tags and are prepared by a barman who really earns the title ‘mixologist’; and its menu couldn’t be less generic. The soap in the bathroom is Molton Brown—the mirrors there are brass and cloudy.
The concept is truffles and beef. It’s a nice idea, but you should only go when your pockets are feeling full. We mean it: their headline burger is £38. Sackville’s is not trying to compete for McDonald’s customers, nor even for Byron’s clientele, or those trying Elliot’s Cafe of Borough Market’s famous £16 burger. No, this is a cut above. Sackville’s fully believes in the mantra ‘if you’re going to do something, do it properly.’
For them, a foie gras starter is not a measly lump of paté but instead two thick slabs of gloriously brown and crispy goose liver. For them, a burger consists in wagyu rib-eye hearts so tender that they don’t even bother to mince them. For them, mayonnaise tastes of truffle from the generous gratings they have mixed in, and for them even a portobello mushroom dish requires hefty piles of truffle on top.
The head chef comes from Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill, and as well as the five burger offerings (ranging in price from £20 to £38) they offer seven specific steaks, ranging from a comparatively cheap 220g of Aberdeen Angus fillet for £34 to a 300g wagyu ribeye for a princely £70. Their starters average at about £15: tartare, carpaccio, foie, veggie options and something that basically works out to truffle, truffle and more truffle.
Given how good some of the options are, you’ll want to go back to taste the whole menu. But Sackville’s isn’t really the place you go back to each week unless you are one of London’s supposedly-common Russian billionaires.
The foie gras here is just excellent, and even more than that, copious. We don’t really understand why people mash it up into a paté when it’s just so much better as it comes. Its very mild earthiness is balanced completely by a buttery creamy softness and the tart fresh berries served alongside. It comes with a thick, crunchy bit of toast underneath. We also recommend the truffle salami, which takes umami to another level.
The wagyu rump steak at Sackville’s is much much more expensive than Hawksmoor’s d-rump. And while Hawksmoor’s offering does not include five or six slices of truffle on top, it is more tender and more choice with far fewer hard or chewy bits of connective tissue on the sides.
By contrast, the burger might be one of the best things you have ever eaten, though perhaps we’re testing the definition of a burger when it’s really two ultra-tender, unctuously fatty pieces of ribeye topped with yet more slabs of foie and truffle. It’s unbelievably tender and incomparably indulgent.
The tequila key lime pie is a real innovation, topped with salted popcorn for one of those classic savoury-sweet salty-sour combinations. By contrast, the walnut whip was overpowered by its alcoholic constituent, despite a thick chocolatey texture. We recommend giving the chocolate fondant burger a try —anything by that name must be good.
Sackville’s is a place to celebrate, a place to drop a lot of money on a well-designed cocktail menu, a place to enjoy ridiculously extravagant dishes with the world’s most expensive fungi, engorged goose organs and beef. It’s very easy to spend £150 or even £200 on dinner for two with drinks. It’s not your everyday restaurant, but who needs an everyday restaurant in a place like London?
Sackville’s, 8a Sackville Street, Mayfair, London, UK, +44 20 7734 3623