London's Mayfair Is Home To Maru According To Rich Report

London's Mayfair Is Home To Maru According To Rich Report
Courtesy of Brussel’s Kitchen‍

Taiji Maruyama, a third generation sushi chef, is the executive chef at the restaurant of the week.

My friend and I are starting to feel a little nervous as it is 8.28pm. “Let’s go back the way we came,” he says, striding backwards with purpose. With glasses of wine in hand, drinkers spill out of the pubs in Mayfair’s Shepherd Market after work to the narrow side streets.

There are only two sittings of eight diners each evening of Tuesday through Saturday at Maru, a sushi restaurant run by Taiji Maruyama, a third generation sushi chef. The restaurant has strict rules: turn up late and the doors will be locked if you don't get a seat. Even if you do, there are strict rules: turn up late and the doors will be locked.

We were ushered inside by a shopkeeper who pointed to an unassuming dark blue door we had just passed. Inside, we sat side by side at a small wooden table that filled the entire room.

It's a hushed stillness in the room, and there's a sense that something special is about to happen as Maruyama, the young Japanese chef with a ponytail, stands behind the counter, greeting his diners.

As Taka moved to Marylebone last summer, Maru took over the Shepherd Market site, where they launched a 21-course omakase tasting menu.

With a fixed menu costing £210 per person before sake pairings, Maru's pricing is much higher than that of its sister restaurant.

Maruyama's chefs prepare and serve all 21 courses with an emphasis on omotenashi, which means to take care of your guests wholeheartedly. The chefs explain each ingredient and how to enjoy it. Skip lunch if possible.


In addition to his experience at Nobu London, Maruyama has earned two Michelin stars as executive chef at Ginza Kojyu restaurant under Toro Okuda.

It was at the Beaverbrook hotel in Surrey, where he served as head chef, that he met Andrey and Anastasia Datsenko. They later formed Taka in London's Mayfair, where Maruyama worked as executive chef.

The chef made his name for himself here by creating inventive Japanese dishes showcasing British ingredients, opening a new outpost in 2020 as Taka's success grew. The following year, their decision to replace Taka with Maru was made, with Maruyama choosing every last detail of the menu and interior design, from the crockery to the flowers.


Courtesy of Zomato

As a nod to the ever-changing nature of the food, Maru is named after chef Maruyama's family name which means 'circle'. It is a 21-course tasting menu based on Japanese omakase, which means ‘I will leave it up to the chef’. Basically, you eat what you are given.

Maruyama's talented chef changes the menu every day to showcase the best hyperseasonal produce which is wherever possible sourced locally.  

It is clear at first glance that Maruyama takes his ingredients very seriously. This is farm-to-table cooking at its best. There is wasabi root grown in Dorset, cuttlefish and squid from Cornwall, and scallops from Orkney Island on the menu.

A lot of the dishes at Maru feature carefully dry-aged fish, allowing its flavor and texture to be enhanced.

Assembled by hand, sushi is stirred in wooden tubs and heated over an open flame before being topped with fresh fish and wasabi.

Various food selections will be available throughout the evening, including grilled langoustine, buttery cabbage with black truffles, and hay-smoked trout.

After a bite-sized chestnut and chocolate nemesis, creamy milk ice cream, and baked sweet potatoes, we can't take anymore food. You will receive a canvas tote bag with chopsticks and breakfast for tomorrow, as well as Vitalijus selecting the perfect wine or sake to accompany your dinner.


Courtesy of Brussel’s Kitchen

The wooden counter is dominated by a gleaming dry-aging refrigerator containing a huge chunk of tuna.

With few distractions in the room, except for the Japanese prints adorning the walls and the wood-clad ceiling decorated with white fabric details, Maru is almost entirely sheltered from the outside world.

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