Zdesar, whose restaurant group already runs the Hawaiian-influenced Black Roe in Mayfair with a menu including poké bowls with fish and meat, told BigHospitality today that he could launch his – as yet unnamed – new poké brand at the three sites simultaneously, depending on deals.
He said that offers had been made in all three locations but nothing had yet been confirmed.
The new sites – which will be overseen by group executive chef Jordan Sclare, previously of Aqua, Nobu Park Lane, the Gordon Ramsay Group and Buddha Bar ‒ will either be categorised as “take out” or “hang out”, depending on the space and customer demand, with a grab-and-go option available for busy local workers and seating set to be open for walk-ins.
In contrast to Zdesar’s other sites, at which average spend per head is £45 (Chotto Matte) to £60 per head (Black Roe), the new brand will offer poké bowls in a more street food style, using recyclable, re-usable bowls, for around £10 per bowl with a drink.
The news comes soon after Zdesar announced plans to open Fucina – meaning ‘furnace’ in Italian – an Italian restaurant centred on the concept of charcoal fire and organic produce, from head chef Stefano Stecca, in autumn this year.
He is also set to expand Chotto Matte – which opened in London in 2013 – in Toronto and Miami, but confirmed that he had no plans to open a second Chotto Matte in the UK.
Speaking to BigHospitality about the new poké concept, Zdesar said: “We’re always looking at new techniques across our group. We’re working on poké right now, and marinades and elements from the Hawaiian influence, which actually has a lot of similarities with the Peruvian style [we do at Chotto Matte].
“It’s not just about keeping and maintaining [the concepts] we’ve already got, it’s about moving forward. And we’ve got Jordan Sclare, who is I think, probably the best chef in London right now. We’re about just taking simple ingredients, and making them taste awesome. No-one used to know what poke was, and now people are starting to get it.”
Zdesar previously helped to establish dim sum group Ping Pong, and was director of operations of Nobu Europe. He launched Chotto Matte in 2013, and has also helped to build Mews of Mayfair in London, alongside a host of other concepts internationally.