Ex-Wabi chef to open Japanese izakaya Kurobuta in London

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chef

New Japanese izykaya Kurobuta will set out to have a 'high end' appeal at a sensible price point, Scott Hallsworth said
New Japanese izykaya Kurobuta will set out to have a 'high end' appeal at a sensible price point, Scott Hallsworth said
Ex-Wabi chef Scott Hallsworth is to open a Japanese izakaya called Kurobuta at Connaught Village in London later this year. 

Hallsworth, who left his role of executive chef at Wabi London in May before the restaurant went into administration, together with business partner Andrew Stafford, formerly of Nobu, The Ritz and Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes, plan to open the 80-cover restaurant in Kendal Street near Marble Arch in September. 

The izakaya, a traditional Japanese style pub, will open for breakfast through to dinner, serving coffee, Japanese teas and pastries before offering savoury and sweet small dishes throughout the day.

Dishes such as warm salmon with yuzu truffle miso and puffed rice; beef fillet tataki with onion ponzu and garlic crisps and warm milk chocolate doughnuts dusted with jasmine sugar will be priced between £4 and £15 with bento boxes on sale for between £8.50 and £13.50. 

Kurobuta's bar will offer beer, wine, sake and shochu alongside a 'playful' cocktail list which uses Japanese inspired infusions, fruits, vegetables and spices. Cocktails, priced from £8.50 will include the Hobo, a sake-based mix drunk from a paper bag covered glass. 

Australian-born Hallsworth, who worked for Nobu London for six years before taking up the position of head chef at Nobu Melbourne in 2007, will oversee the kitchen while Stafford, who is financial controller, will oversee operations. 

'No nonsense'

Hallsworth said he wanted Kurobuta, named after the Japanese term for the Black Berkshire pig, to have a more relaxed feel than in previous Japanese restaurants he'd been involved in. 

"Creating expensive high-end dishes is like shooting fish in a barrel, it's almost commonsensical," he said. "I set myself a challenge to deliver that 'high end' appeal at a sensible price point and without the air kissing pretence. Kurobuta is all about having an awesome time, it's a four on the floor, no nonsense ride."

Hallsworth was a partner in Wabi with business partner Andre Cachia until leaving the company in May. He helped launch Wabi's first site in Horsham, West Sussex in 2010 before opening the second at Lincoln's Inn Fields in London as executive chef last year.

According to BigHospitality's sister publication M&C Report, Wabi London was placed into administration soon after Hallsworth's departure. Wabi Horsham was unaffected by the move.

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