It will open in June on the former Starbucks site at London's St Katherine Docks as a grab-and-go focused site by day and restaurant by night.
It is described as a modern edgy Asian approach to noodles serving authentic broths with a bit of London style. The main daytime menu will feature the Saiphin Six – six main noodle dishes - and will be tweaked with the addition of more sides in the evening.
“The food will be presented in a different manner and the whole environment – the lighting and music, will change,” says Alex.
There will be minimal seating downstairs during the day, but in the evening the restaurant counter will be flipped over to be used as additional seating, combined with seating upstairs and the outside area facing the water.
The restaurant will charge higher prices for its evening dishes, which Moore admits could be a challenge but says the evening experience would be “so much more” than in the daytime.
The name for the concept had originally been Slurp, but the IP had already been registered by another company. “We wanted to differentiate it from the Rosa’s offering," says Alex. "It really is more of a Chinese noodle shop, so we felt giving it a Chinese name was right.”
The idea is something that Saiphin had wanted to launch the concept for years, but the pair decided to wait until they had taken a step back from the day to day operations at Rosa’s, says Alex, who used the Starbucks as an office when he and Saiphin first moved to the area.
Alex will take on the role of chairman, with Saiphin head of food. They have also appointed New Zealand-born Bernard Toomey as managing director, with whom Moore became friends during his time in Hong Kong.
“It is very much an investment for us, but I will help steer from afar,” he says. “I think it has got the potential to scale, but like Rosa’s we want to see what it’s like and test it in its format. We are doing this as a bit of an experiment and as a labour of love.”
Moore says he is proud of how he and Saiphin have built Rosa’s and says “doing it again does appeal”. However, there are no agreements in place with the group’s backers TriSpan about expanding it further than the one site at present. “We will roll it out if it works and if we want to.”
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