International favourite (five award-winning restaurants already established) Oliver Maki has brought its contemporary Japanese cuisine to Soho, with a 55 cover restaurant and we couldn’t be more excited by this new addition to the London restaurant scene.
Oliver Maki first launched in Kuwait in 2004 and is a family-owned business founded by two Canadian-Lebanese brothers – Oliver Zeitoun and Amer Zeitoun. Oliver’s daughter Yara manages the Marketing and Operations for all sites and we were fortunate enough to be welcomed by both Yara and Oliver at the London location. This exciting new launch is the first of the group’s restaurants to open outside of the Middle-East. London has been chosen specifically for its outstanding and innovative reputation as a culinary crossroads where different flavours, influences and textures may be explored.
The passionate kitchen team is led by Executive Head Chef Louis Kenji Huang (formerly Head Sushi Chef at Nobu Las Vegas), who works to continually evolve the menu with new flavours, ingredients and techniques: pushing the boundaries with dishes that surprise and delight.
Oliver Maki dishes are all presented as little pieces of art. We tried the signature dish, the Oliver Maki Roll which is made up of eight different rolls in one and includes over 30 ingredients and eight toppings including house-made kizami wasabi, pico de gallo, and chilli mustard. In addition, the roll requires nine cooking processes from complex marinades to labour intensive fresh seaweed cooking and even molecular gastronomy – this single dish represents a culinary journey of different tastes and textures. We also sampled a selection of other delights, including delicious prawn shots – succulent prawns wrapped in filo pastry served with a spicy sauce and a divine dish of black cod and mushrooms known as Gindara. We ended our culinary extravaganza with a beautiful matcha tiramisu that was presented in a snow globe style bowl and was an interesting take on the Italian classic. Our sommelier accompanied our meal with sake, wine and prosecco throughout to bring out the complementing flavours of each dish.
The London restaurant design incorporates raw, natural materials and muted tones of grey, for a sleek effect that provides no distraction from the main act: the food.
The idea behind Oliver Maki was conceived by co-founder Oliver Zeitoun who was inspired by Japanese food and tradition and wanted to create a cuisine that transcends the boundaries of culture and country and the London restaurant continues to follow this ethos. Oliver is dedicated in his search to achieve the highest standards across all his restaurants and has eaten at one of the Oliver Maki branches every single day, even twice a day where possible, for the past decade since Oliver Maki was established.
We can’t wait to go back and try the many other dishes we couldn’t fit in this time round!
Instagram & Twitter: @OliverMakiUK