Who doesn’t love sushi and a day out? Recently, I treated the other half (and myself) to a luxury sushi masterclass at The Prince Akatoki hotel in London, booked through Virgin Experience Days. Discovering the art of making sushi, giving it a go and eating all our efforts at the end, whilst enjoying the zen of our surroundings. With COVID-19 causing more than a little delay, we ended up going months after buying the Experience Day. So, did it live up to our wildest sushi expectations?
The History of Sushi
Upon arrival at the gorgeous hotel, which smells divine by the way, you’re ushered through to the restaurant TOKII to the bar area. The masterclass is small in size, with a maximum of six guests at a time, meaning you get proper attention from the Chef leading the session (plus only 4 of us attended on our trip meaning we got even more attention). With a complimentary glass of sparkling sake and then unlimited green tea, the class kicks off with a cheerful introduction of sushi history. Our Chef was charming and knowledgeable, giving helpful tips like how to still enjoy supermarket sushi at its best, and what rice to buy if you wanted to try this again at home. You’ll even have annoying facts to throw out next time your friends offer sushi.
Learning, Making, Devouring Sushi
The class promised the chance to make a range of sushi in the 2 hours, and it certainly delivered. I wasn’t sure how much sushi we would actually get the chance to make but from the start, we learned how to correctly place the rice and ingredients and then perfected our rolling techniques. We each made 3 types of maki sushi, 2 nigiri and one handroll, keeping us pretty busy with no dull gaps in between. After you have finished the class, you’re served some miso soup and can enjoy eating the sushi and comparing your rolling skills with your companion.
The Chef was also very accommodating. When we went I was pregnant, but having waited for so long to go, I just planned to eat the vegetarian rolls and make the most of the experience. Chef didn’t hesitate to cook some of my fish meaning I could properly enjoy the rolls I made without feeling like I caused a fuss, a small gesture that made a big impact on my experience.
The Masterclass Venue
The Prince Akatoki is located moments from Marble Arch, meaning it is ideal for turning the masterclass experience into a whole day of tourist hits. Tucked behind its Georgian facade, the 5 Star hotel promises sanctuary and luxury and it’s definitely a gorgeous venue for the afternoon. Everyone could not have been more welcoming and friendly, even though we were only there for the 2 hour masterclass. Despite our brief visit, I totally want to stay at the hotel now.
We found the venue easy to get to, opting to get the tube to Baker Street in Marylebone and walk down to the hotel, which only took around 10 minutes at a leisurely stroll. Hyde Park and Oxford Street are also super close meaning its easy to get to. The sushi masterclass is only held on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, and the weekend slots get snapped up months in advance which can make it difficult to find a date that works.
Value for Money?
The class is priced at £150 for two, so there is no denying it is expensive. However, it seemed a competitive price for the experience when looking at similar venues, and the reviews I read beforehand were all glowing. The other group with us on the day had booked it as a birthday gift, and ours was from Christmas, so it’s definitely a nice experience to gift someone (especially if they take you!) There are cheaper options out there but The Prince Akatoki is a 5-star hotel and it definitely felt like a luxury experience. Just perhaps not one you’d book on a weekly basis.
Masterclass Review 4.5/5 Stars
The masterclass delivered what it promised; we learned about sushi, made sushi and then devoured said sushi! It was actually a very fun experience, not too serious yet it felt sophisticated. You could even order a few cocktails and complete the bougie experience. I rate this masterclass 4.5 stars, we loved the intimate setting and amount of sushi you get to make. The only thing I would change is you’re sat at the bar for the class, meaning at times I was leaning to see what was being demonstrated, and it was a bit tricky to find a date that worked given how quickly it got booked up. If you’d like to go for yourself, you can book with Virgin Experience Days. But book quickly! There’s delicious sushi demanding to be made.