Forget getting sober for Christmas, how about settling instead for Soba? Soba, the Japanese name for noodles made from buckwheat, are the speciality of Yen, the new Japanese fine-dining restaurant coming to The Strand.
The signature dish will be made, by hand, twice a day in a bespoke glass viewing shed situated in the restaurant. Soba-istas Maruno Hidenori & Katsuki Sakurai are both experts in soba and trained with the so-called ‘Master of Soba’, Takahashi Kunihiro from Yamanashi in Japan.
Away from the noodles Hiyama Hiroki will be the creative genius behind the menu, having worked in a number of Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide, including 3-Michelin starred Ristorante Da Vittorio in Italy.
Akinori Yasuda is Head Sushi Chef and has over 20 years’ experience in some of London and Japan’s top sushi restaurants, not least his 6 years as Head Sushi Chef at Zuma.
The menu will include cold Soba with a variety of dips, grilled meats or tempuras, or served in hot soup with a selection of toppings. There will also, of course, be a broad selection of sushi on offer, served in the main restaurant and at the 8-seater sushi counter.
Main dishes largely centre around robata and tempura dishes, including Yen’s signature oyster and courgette flower tempura and Wagyu steak with Ponzu sauce. There will also be the omakase menu, which sees guests served a blind menu entirely directed by the Chef.
Meanwhile, Head Bartender, Alex Frattini, will offer a wide selection of cocktails (blending Japanese flavours into classic cocktails), wines and spirits, including Japanese sakes, beers, shochu, plum wines and whiskies. The “No. 9”, for example, is tasty mix of toasted sesame and coconut infused Ketel One vodka, mandarin juice, nutmeg syrup, and scorched coconut foam, and the “Yen Sparkle”, a combination of Yuzu-shu, creme de violette and sparkling wine.
The Strand is an iconic location and has an impeccable restaurant pedigree, from The Savoy to Simpsons, and it looks like Yen will fit right in.
Yen: Opens 28th November, 190 Strand, 5 Arundel Street, Covent Garden, WC2R 1NB, www.yen-london.co.uk