Scott Hallsworth: Kurobuta expansion likely

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage, Sushi

Scott Hallsworth says he believes he has created a scaleable concept with Kurobuta and has already earmarked his second site in London's Shoreditch. Photo: Greg Salvatori.
Scott Hallsworth says he believes he has created a scaleable concept with Kurobuta and has already earmarked his second site in London's Shoreditch. Photo: Greg Salvatori.
Chef Scott Hallsworth, who announced new Japanese izykaya Kurobuta earlier this week, has said he plans to roll the concept out to other sites once the original is established.

The Australian-born chef, whose first site will open in Connaught Village near Marble Arch in September, told BigHospitality he saw a gap in the market for a mid-market contemporary Japanese concept and had investors who were interested in backing him for expansion. 

"We do want to expand," he said. "We have already earmarked another location in Shoreditch which would come following the first at Connaught Village. 

"We don't want it to be a plastic roll-out with carbon copy multiple sites, but there is already interest from investors and venture capitalists who want to get involved with such a thing." 

Mid-market

Hallsworth, who worked for international Japanese restaurant company Nobu before entering a partnership with businessman Andre Cachia to launch Wabi in 2010, said his latest project, in which he has a majority stake, was a concerted move away from the higher end of the market 

He said: "There are lots of high-end Japanese restaurants out there already. What I want to do is bring the high-end flavours and that level of excitement it brings to the mid-market - no-one has really cracked that area yet in the UK."

A trial of the concept at a food festival in Connaught Village where the first Kurobuta will be situated, drew a positive response, Hallsworth said.

"We served a selection of sushi and dishes from a robata grill which people really liked. Feedback was that at the prices we are proposing and the fact that we will serve coffee and pastries as well as lunch and dinner means they'd be inclined to come back more than once a week, which wouldn't happen if it was a high-end restaurant."

Kurobuta

Kurobuta, which is backed financially by Hallsworth, Andrew Stafford, who worked with the chef at Nobu and Wabi and was a former financial director at The Ritz, as well as a silent partner, is due to open in September.

The restaurant, inspired by the Japanese izykaya (a type of Japanese pub), takes its name from the Black Berkshire breed of pig. Highly prized for its succulent meat, the ancient breed was given to Japan by the British as a diplomatic gift. 

It will open all day from breakfast and serve a range of small dishes (£4-£15), bento boxes (£8.50 to £13.50), pastries, coffee as well as a range of alcoholic drinks, including sake shochu and some playfully-named cocktails (from £8.50). 

Related topics: Business, People, Restaurants, Venues

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