The company, which is one of the largest providers of sushi and Japanese food products in the US, will open its first restaurant in Leadenhall Market on 5 March ahead of the opening of its first US site in Philadelphia in May.
Head of UK operations Mark Holding told BigHospitality the new brand, which will specialise in ‘burrito style’ sushi rice rolls filled with meat, fish or vegetables, was designed to ‘shake up the high street’ and give diners healthier options when eating out.
“People in the UK want a bit of a change,” he said. “The high street is dominated by a few big brands selling sandwiches and burgers, so we want to bring a new idea to the market. Hai Street Kitchen & Co is fresh, healthy and quick and offers are completely customisable.”
Hai Street Kitchen & Co’s menu has been designed by executive chef Takao Iinuma who has created a range of fillings, including chicken or fish katsu, grilled pork belly, salmon pastrami, flank steak and roasted carrot to go inside a sushi rice roll or in a bowl of rice or salad.
Sushi rolls start at £4.99 for those filled with vegetables and go up to £7.99 for those filled with meat or fish and can be accompanied by a range of side dishes such as renkon chips, tomato bisque and miso soup.
Customers order at counters with food prepared for them from an open kitchen. They can take food away or eat-in with Leadenhall Market’s second floor providing a seating area for those wanting to eat-in.
Holding said London would be the first city to see a Hai Street Kitchen & Co because he thought it was most open to new ideas.
He said: “London’s consumers like to eat food from around the world and the UK market is ready for something like this now as people want something new, interesting and healthy when they eat out."
He said the company planned to open another two outlets in the city this year before rolling the brand out elsewhere.
“Over the next seven years we’re looking at opening 15 to 20 sites in the UK and some more in the US. We’ll start with London in the UK and then look at branching out. It will depend how the markets are in other cities before we make any plans to go elsewhere," he said.