Dorian owner to open 'Japanese bistro' Urchin

27 March 2024 by
Dorian owner to open 'Japanese bistro' Urchin

Dorian owner Chris D'Sylva is set to open a second restaurant, having secured a Michelin star for his first permanent site.

The operator, who also runs Notting Hill Fish + Meat and Supermarket of Dreams, is to launch Japanese bistro Urchin in September.

Urchin, located close to gourmet grocery shop Supermarket of Dreams on Holland Park Avenue, will evolve the bistro atmosphere and menu of Dorian with a Japanese take on the produce the business has become known for.

D'Sylva (pictured) told The Caterer: "Sushi is only a fraction of Japanese food, so I'm going to 'Japanesify' Dorian. Whole fish, big steaks with Japanese sauces and flavours.

"Japanese isn't cosy and comforting unless you're having a big bowl of ramen. I don't want to do that, instead I want it to be a sharing-style format but still comfort food."

In a wide-ranging interview covering the development of the business, he added that the idea had developed from the izakaya concept he runs in the evenings at Supermarket of Dreams.

D'Sylva added: "I've got 20 sushi chefs to keep happy and when I told them we were getting a star and that it would lift all our business, they said ‘we want our own place now'."

"It's not usually how I come about ideas; I don't create concepts to solve internal issues but to service gaps in the market. So I thought, I don't want to open a sushi restaurant as there are 10 others in the area. It doesn't make sense."

He explained that the recognition of a Michelin star made him appreciate that his produce was "at the heart of achieving the accolade".

"It's at the heart of Dorian and I'll make it the heart of Urchin as well," he said.

"Let's say I find an 800g pristine red mullet from Cornwall. If I give it to my sushi chef he's going to slice it up and steam some rice. But that fish could be served whole, almost Thai-style, but with a Japanese garnish.

"We'll take the best of British produce and make it into Japanese-style dishes we haven't seen yet."

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