Mari Vanna, a 120-cover restaurant situated on the doorstep of One Hyde Park, will offer ‘babushka cooking’, featuring Russian dishes with influences from Armenia, Georgia and Uzbekistan.
With sister restaurants in Moscow, St Petersburg and New York, Mari Vanna is co-owned by Vadim Lapin & Dmitry Sergeyev, founders of restaurant and hospitality holding company Ginza Project, which has over 100 restaurants within its portfolio, and Luca Del Bono.
The menu has been designed by head chef Alexander Belkovich and will feature traditional Russian dishes including Pelmeni (Russian veal dumplings with a light herb sauce), Borsch with Pampushka (a beetroot soup with beef) and Harcho (a rich Georgian lamb soup with rice and Adjika).
Luca Del Bono, which has operated in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, has also just bought the 14,500 sq.ft, five-story Fifty St James site, a former casino, which they will be refurbishing.
Meanwhile, newly-opened Japanese sushi and cocktail bar Kumo is located on Beauchamp Place, offering 50 covers and serving Japanese cuisine and a range of cocktails.
The dining area is a mixture of traditional and modern Japan with large ornamental gold disks lining the walls, low-slung tables, black banquets and candles.
Head chef Yuka Aoyama – formerly of Nobu – has devised the menu which features dishes including Avocado, Tobiko and Crab Salad with Wasabi Mayonnaise, Hibatchi Sea Bass Fillet with Wakame and Harusame Sauce and Warm Beef Sukiyaki Salad with Lemongrass and Sweet Basil.
With a bar capacity of 150 people, Kumo offers facilities for corporate and private hire. Award-winning cocktail-maker Douglas Ankrah has created a cocktail list including the Passion Hikaru, the Kumo Ku and theJapanese Ice Tea.