The 55-cover restaurant on Dean Street in Soho will mark the start of a five-year European expansion plan for the company, which was founded by Canadian-Lebanese brothers Oliver and Amer Zeitoun in Kuwait in 2004.
Oliver, a former advertising agency MD, told BigHospitality the family-owned company had been looking for the right site in London for the last five years.
“Now we’ve found the right location we’re happy,” he said. We love London and see it as the centre of the culinary world. People in London are really foodie which is just as well because we do need to present our concept to people who appreciate food.”
Oliver Maki London will offer a similar menu to that served in its four sites in Kuwait and one in Bahrain with some ‘fine-tuning’ for the UK market.
The menu, which is overseen by executive head chef Louis Kenji Huang, includes the Oliver Maki Roll, which includes more than 30 ingredients and offers eight different toppings such as kizami wasabi, pico de gallo and chilli mustard and the Fusion Temaki, a twist on the traditional temaki which replaces rice with tempura shrimp, vegetables and crabsticks and uses white soya bean paper as a wrap instead of seaweed.
Oliver, who describes himself as a ‘fanatic’ of Japanese culture said he didn’t want to mix cuisines, rather add in some elements of different cultures.
“Fusion with other cuisines can be a confusion, so instead we infused Mediterrean ingredients such as olive oil and lemon and took it to a higher dimension.”
Oliver Maki London will launch under the direction of Oliver’s daughter Yara, who manages marketing and operations for the group and could be joined by up to four more sites in the UK over the next five years with four markets in Europe also being looked at.