The news spread quickly among British food lovers late last year: a newly opened sushi bar in London with nine seats had obtained the dubious honour of becoming the most expensive restaurant in Britain.
The no choice, set-price cost of dinner for one at The Araki, which is named for owner-chef Mitsuhiro Araki, is £300 ($630). And that’s without sake or service. All nine seats at The Araki are booked for weeks in advance. Araki has acknowledged that his restaurant is pricey, but he justifies this by explaining that he sources the finest produce he can find: squid from South Africa, bluefin tuna from Ireland and Portugal, Alba truffles from Italy.
And to be fair to him, he does produce the best sushi and seafood in London, and he regularly rejects up to 60 percent of what appears to be perfect raw tuna to serve only the finest portions.
Wonderful meal or not, £300 per person is pretty steep, and even the mega-rich like to know that they’re getting value for their money. Can diners be sure that the food is worth the stunningly hefty bill?
That may be an unanswerable question – high-end food has become a luxury that may be artificially inflated because of its scarcity and the growing number of wealthy and adventurous eaters – but here’s an attempt to measure what you can get for your money at some of the world’s most expensive restaurants.