Tanya Gold Tanya Gold

Sexy Fish: not so much a restaurant as a museum of London’s rich

Richard Caring, Asian fusion’s very own Bond villain, has created his most ludicrous place yet

Sexy Fish is a ludicrous restaurant with a ludicrous name in a ludicrous town. It is the latest venture from Richard Caring, major Tory donor and Asian fusion’s very own Bond villain. The more I insult Caring in these pages, the better I like him. He is certainly vivid, and the swiftness with which he expands his empire demonstrates a truism — the more often you order a £15 million restaurant interior in the service of propping up the Conservative party’s decimation of liberal civilisation, the better you will get at it.

So, Sexy Fish. It is, in homage to its stupid name, a tank on Berkeley Square, where no birds sing, and it is principally gold-coloured — for that, Scrooge McDuck, is its brand. Lunchtime on Monday; it is packed with Russian wives and Swiss bankers, all cartoonishly smooth and unsmiling; are they yearning? I almost lost my reservation because I forgot it was called ‘Sexy Fish’ and, instead, searched for ‘Superfish’ in my emails. Superfish is a chip shop in East Molesey, which is not owned by Richard Caring. Yet.

It is huge — a former NatWest — and decorated with a glittering Frank Gehry crocodile, a Damien Hirst mermaid — how did Hirst ever pass for revolutionary? — and Iran. (Apologies. I misread the PR babble. The floor is from Iran.) The golden ceiling — which I read about in the London Evening Standard, because ceilings can be news, if they are ‘it’ ceilings — is apparently by the style-editor-at-large of Vanity Fair, which I thought was a made-up job but apparently is not. In the basement private room there is a fish tank, where the ‘sexy’ fish — brightly coloured, minute and somehow heartbreaking — swim like tiny fishy slaves.

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