Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Minute on the clock: Alexei Zimin

26 April 2016 by
Minute on the clock: Alexei Zimin

Zima, a Russian street-food bar and kitchen, opened in London's Soho at the end of last month. Neil Gerrard talks to Russian chef and owner Alexei Zimin about the Frith Street venue and why Russian street food probably doesn't yet have the recognition in the UK that it deserves

How do you define Russian street food?

Russian food hasn't been particularly prevalent on the UK food scene. Why do you think now is the right time to introduce it to the market?

So many people from Russia and from other Eastern Europe countries live here, and the Russian food you will find in Zima is the common cultural code for all of them. Also, London has some good Russian restaurants, but nothing so casual that people from around the world can dip in to enjoy the diversity of our cuisine in whatever quantity they please.

Do we have a great enough appreciation for Russian food in this country?

The best and shortest answer I can give is I hope so. However, I think the answer is probably not. There are some stereotypical concepts of caviar, salmon on blinis and borscht, but it is still largely unrepresented. London is such a culturally diverse city that I hope to reach the world here and share the best of what we have in the most accessible fashion.

What has the initial reaction to Zima been like?

I couldn't be happier with the feedback we have had from our customers and the kind words of the press so far. I love what I do and if people enjoy it also, then what more can I ask for?

You are known in Russia for the Ragout restaurant and cookery school. Could you see yourself opening something like that here?

Maybe, I mean, it is a question of demand. The whole idea of Zima is to teach people in the UK, wherever they have originally come from, about our cuisine, so it would make me very happy if there was a demand for such an idea. I say to anyone reading this: if you don't ask, you won't get!

Continue reading

You need to be a premium member to view this. Subscribe from just 99p per week.

Already subscribed?

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking