Hospitality design consultant at Sectorsixteen and operations manager Gush Jutley, who has worked on projects including the Hoxton hotel, has recently helped to open a new gourmet, roasted-meat sandwich site in London’s Mayfair, named Cafe Mish. He talks to Hannah Thompson about small-space design, freshness and developing new concepts
Why launch this site now?
It’s very simple. Sandwiches such as this used to be available everywhere in London, but they got pushed out. Our intention is to bring back these old favourites.
We only have nine options, and the roast beef, roast lamb and salt beef are carved in front of you. We’re trying to be traditional and use fresh ingredients. The sandwiches are made to order and are never left waiting in the refrigerator. We’ve already had people who have come in twice in as many days to try the different options.
You run a design consultancy. Could you explain its ownership?
The owner’s name is Omar Al-Hasawi and his group is in property. Developing restaurants in London is a real wish for them, which is what I’m helping to do. It’s pretty exciting for me too, as it’s not just the one concept over and over.
How did the partnership come about?
I met Omar socially a couple of years ago. When he got to a point where he really wanted to push on with restaurants, we met up again. I bring that design background, but also operations knowledge. I’d say I’ve got an eye for small spaces.
You only opened your last venture, Le Menar, a North African restaurant in London, in November 2014, also with Al-Hasawi. So why have you changed tack now?
We’re trying to build a portfolio of hospitality establishments. The Cafe Mish concept was developed because we knew it could definitely work here. The next site could be the same, but it might not be!
What’s been your approach for this place?
We wanted to get a lot done in a small area, so the design has been led by that. We also wanted to do good coffee. Those elements shape what you can do. We’ve had fun, though – light fittings that look like bread tins, for example!
What’s your main point of difference?
The freshness. We get salt beef delivered and then we roast it all morning, from 7.30am to lunchtime. The roast lamb has only got three ingredients, including the sauce, and when you taste it, you think there must be some extra magic in there. But there’s not!
How much do they go for?
Most are £6.75, but you can have a medium version at £9.75 and the large at £12.75. It’s like a meal. We’ve had men coming in saying “we’ll have the large, no problem.”
You also serve coffee and have an alcohol licence. What’s your thinking on drinks?
We do great coffee. We’re working with [coffee brand] Musetti and wanted something robust that could stand up to the sandwiches. We also thought people might like a good cold drink with their sandwich, so we have Harry Brompton’s alcoholic iced tea, Peroni Piccola and a Hoxton cider.
What do you still want to do with the café?
To develop the breakfast until it’s as good as our sandwiches.