Hakkasan Targets London City Area With Restaurant Plan

Hakkasan Mayfair
The ground floor dining room at Hakkasan Mayfair in London, with design by Paris-based Guillaume Richard. Source: Bacchus PR via Bloomberg

Hakkasan Group plans to open two restaurants in London’s City this year as restaurateurs target the financial district for their expansion plans.

Chrysan will be a Japanese establishment in partnership with Yoshihiro Murata, the third-generation chef patron of Kikunoi, which holds three Michelin stars in Kyoto. Chrysan is scheduled to open in September at Broadgate West, next door to HKK, a Chinese restaurant that will open the following month.

Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are among chefs who have moved into the City, undeterred by the squeeze on bonuses and expenses that has followed the financial slowdown. The restaurateur Russell Norman plans to add a branch of his Polpo group in nearby Smithfield on July 30, while Goodman has bought a site there for its Burger & Lobster chain.

“With the development of East London, the City is becoming the center of London rather than the West End,” Hakkasan Chief Executive Niall Howard said in an interview. “It’s growing as a residential area and increasingly there’s an international crowd. Getting the Broadgate West site clinched the deal.”

Broadgate West is owned by the property developer Peter Marano, who created L’Anima restaurant there in June 2008. He plans to open L’Anima Cafe, a casual venue with a bar and a takeaway counter, next door. It will seat about 160 people, the same as L’Anima, and should open early next year.

Japanese Chefs

Chrysan is Murata’s first overseas venture. He plans to create a pioneering Japanese restaurant brand for the international market where local chefs will work alongside Japanese chefs using mainly local ingredients.

“I visited Scotland and tried the local salmon, both native and farmed, lobsters, and crab, and I was very impressed by the amazing quality,” he said in a statement. “The salmon was even better than in Japan. English pork is very good, too. There are so many high quality, superb ingredients in the U.K. so what is the point of sending foodstuff from Japan over to London?”

Murata is chairman of the Japanese Culinary Academy, which promotes Japanese cuisine internationally by mentoring and inspiring chefs such as Ferran Adria and Heston Blumenthal. His chef in London will be Daisuke Hayashi. The menu will include a set lunch option plus a bento box.

“In the City, we need to be able to get people in and out in an hour at lunchtime,” Howard said.

Michelin Stars

The Chinese establishment HKK -- a contraction of Hakkasan Kitchen -- is inspired by the tradition of banqueting, will offer a single tasting menu of Cantonese delicacies created by chef Tong Chee Hwee, the Michelin-starred chef of Hakkasan restaurants.

Also coming up near Broadgate is Sushisamba, a venue with bars and restaurants serving Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower. It’s scheduled to open in July. The executive chef is Jeffrey Kipp, who was previously at Daylesford Organic, and Gordon Ramsay, as well as at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago.

It’s the first European outpost of Sushisamba, which has sites in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Miami.

Restaurants that have opened in the City in the past three years include Galvin la Chapelle, Goodman and Hawksmoor, as well as Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Barbecoa, founded by Jamie Oliver and the New York chef Adam Perry Lang.

Hakkasan, which is owned by Abu Dhabi investors, has restaurants in New York, Miami, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Mumbai, In London, there are two Hakkasan outlets and the group also owns Yauatcha and Sake No Hana.

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)

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