Way back in March we reported that top Kyoto chef Yoshihiro Murata was headed to London to open a restaurant called Chrysan in the City. Since then we've had loads of readers wanting to know more - well this morning we can enlighten you on what to expect.
Murata has joined forces with the Hakkasan group. His London restaurant, which will open in Broadgate West, will be the first international joint venture between them where local chefs will work alongside Japanese chefs within a restaurant's kitchen, using predominantly 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 says. "The salmon was even better than in Japan! I also met a producer of Angus beef who insisted that the ageing process has to be 45 days, not 60 days: meeting such a passionate producer is wonderful. English pork is very good too. There are so many high quality, superb ingredients in the UK so what is the point of sending foodstuff from Japan over to London?”
So why should you be so excited about Murata coming to town? Well back in Japan he's a huge force to be reckoned with. He has three restaurants - the three Michelin starred Kikunoi Honten and two-starred Roan Kikunoi (both in Kyoto) and two starred Akasaka Kikunoi in Tokyo.
In London the chef running the kitchen will be Murata's protege Daisuke Hayashi. Chrysan will be less formal than his Kyoto restaurant but will have an extensive à la carte and tasting menus as well as a set lunch menu plus a bento box option for time-pressed City workers.
The restaurant will be open weekdays and Saturday evening with 100 covers, including a chef’s table for eight and a private dining room seating 12. There will also be a bar called NeNe which will seat up to 30, and serve up cocktails as well as a bar menu of lighter dishes.
Chrysan is open now at Snowden Street, London EC2A 2DQ.