One of the world's largest udon noodle restaurant chains is to open its first London site in July.
Marugame Udon, which has over 800 restaurants across Japan and a further 250 in Asia and the US, has taken the former Wahaca site at 1-3 Widegate Street near London Liverpool Street station.
The brand is being brought to the UK as a joint venture between Japan's Toridoll Holdings and European private equity firm Capdesia Group, who plan to use London as a starting point for a wider European expansion involving a combination of both owned and franchised operations.
Marugame specialises in serving Sanuki udon, popular in the Kagawa prefecture in Japan, which has a chewier texture than other udon varieties and can be served a variety of ways.
The London restaurant will have 100 covers and offer takeaway, click and collect and delivery, with main dishes starting at £3.45.
Customers will choose their udon from an open kitchen counter and add a choice of condiments and sides, with menu items including two-pork tonkotsu with chashu and spicy miso pork; and chicken katsu curry udon.
The restaurant will also offer the global brand's first vegan dishes, which make up 30% of the menu.
Toridoll Holdings Corporation is also behind brands such as Wok to Walk and took a £7m stake in Shoryu Ramen in 2017. Capdesia Group has also invested in the Wasabi chain in the UK.
The companies are aiming to grow Marugame to 6,000 restaurants worldwide.