Former Jin Paris chef Takuya Watanabe launches Mayfair omakase restaurant

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Former Jin Paris chef Takuya Watanabe launches Mayfair omakase restaurant

Related tags Taku Sushi Japanese cuisine Mayfair Fine dining

Chef Takuya Watanabe has made his London debut with an omakase restaurant on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street.

Taku is one of a number of omakase restaurants to open in the capital this year and will be among its most high-end with an entry level price of £180 for lunch. 

There are three menus available: a 17-course lunch menu; a £280 20-course ‘signature’ menu; and a £380 ‘prestige’ menu that will include extra luxury ingredients and courses. 

Watanabe was most recently chef patron at Jin Paris, the first sushi omakase restaurant in the French capital to receive a Michelin star. 

His backers are the Leong family, who operates a wide range of restaurants in Chinatown and beyond. 

The 16-cover restaurant will highlight the best ingredients that the British Isles has to offer in a traditional yet modern omakase setting.

The drinks list will feature an array of fine and rare wines and champagnes and specialty sakes selected by sommelier Bowie Tsang. 

Takuya (Taku) Watanabe started his career in sushi at age 19 in Japan. After training at a traditional kaiseki restaurant for three years, he refined his sushi and Japanese culinary skills until he became chef patron at Jin Paris. 

The restaurant won a star in its first year and has retained it for the past decade. 

“Bringing an omakase restaurant to London has been a dream of mine for some time now due to Britain’s access to the high quality local fish and crustaceans available on UK shores - an integral element for sushi making,” Watanabe says. 

“I am delighted to be sharing my dishes with the people of Mayfair in such an intimate dining experience. ”

Geoff Leong added: “Our family has been instrumental in bringing East Asian cuisine to London over the last four decades, ever since my father and uncle founded Zen - a group of Asian restaurants with locations in Chelsea, Mayfair and Hampstead.

”We have always wanted to push the boundary of the UK’s perception of Asian food through the creativity of our chefs and we will be applying this same ethos to Taku - now the only Japanese restaurant in our portfolio - where diners will be left in chef patron Taku’s expert hands”.

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