London’s Mayfair will soon see the opening of a new, modern izakaya, a Japanese version of a tapas bar or gastropub.
Koyn, which opens on September 9, is the fifth restaurant of father and daughter duo Samyukta and Dinesh Nair, whose LSL Capital also owns Michelin-starred Jamavar MiMi Meifair, Bombay Bustle and Socca, a southern Mediterranean-style restaurant. France in collaboration with Claude Bosi which should open this summer.
Izakaya, found all over Japan, is a word made up of characters or kanji for ‘stay-drink-place’, and is traditionally a place to have a drink (traditionally beer, sake or whiskey) and a variety of dishes with friends.
The new venue says it draws inspiration from Japan’s ancient appreciation for simplicity and harmony and will include a contemporary dining experience inspired by Japan’s enigmatic volcano, Mount Fuji, where “a lush alpine environment peacefully coexists with the fires raging below”.
Samyukta and Tom Strother of Fabled Studio designed the two-story space “to symbolize the complementary forces at play in the ancient volcano”, they say, reflecting “the balance between calm and volatile energy”.
The green Midori room, on the ground floor, is inspired by the landscape of Japanese Zen gardens and the striking pink moss that grows on the fertile volcanic soil of the snow-capped peak. It houses the Verde Cipollino marble sushi bar, which is supported by an illuminated mirror sky.
This quiet room was designed to contrast with the charred Magma room below, which depicts an active, bubbling volcano. This will feature a traditional binchotan charcoal-fueled robata grill, crafted from black slatted wood and rainforest marble and lined with burnt orange leather stools, where guests can sit close enough to the flames. to feel the heat.
Executive Chef Rhys Cattermoul, formerly of Nobo London and Hong Kong, has devised a menu inspired by this same natural balance, showcasing Japanese cuisine that uses local produce.
Dishes include classic sushi such as the native lobster tempura sushi roll with roasted red pepper and creamy yuzu lemon and the Japanese A5 Kagoshima wagyu sushi roll smoked apple tree with asparagus, kanpyo and black truffle, as well as side dishes. freshly grilled such as hojicha-smoked lamb marinated in kuromame miso spices, grilled hispi cabbage with homemade koji dressing or wagyu ishiyaki, served on a hot stone. Other dishes include steamed clams “nabe” (seafood broth) with cordycep mushrooms, yuzu sake soybeans, spinach and glasswort, and red mullet tempura with yuzu kosho tosazu and salt homemade kombu.