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YO! Sushi Brings Japanese Afternoon Tea to Selfridges Department Store

While initiating their transatlantic expansion with Bento Sushi acquisition

Yo! Sushi

Yo! Sushi is launching a new Afternoon Tea offering at its Selfridges sites across the UK. Available now until the year’s end, the menu will fuse the “classic British Afternoon Tea tradition with the essence of Omakase dining” — the Japanese dining tradition that leaves the choice of dishes entirely up to the chef (which is to say, it will be a set-menu high tea sort of affair).

Starting at £25 per head for the three-tiered tea stand with a Jasmine Silver Needle tea accompaniment, and stretching to £35 for the same with champagne, the menu features tempura nori nachos, a selection of sushi and onigiri, and the extravagantly Christmas-themed salmon caviar with gold leaf. Desserts feature more Japanese-British fusions like matcha brownies and the adzuki red bean cheesecake dorayaki pancakes.

News of this playful collaboration with the iconic (and increasingly food-forward) London department store comes in the same week as an altogether more significant business story for the brand: Yo! Sushi announced on Monday they’ve made steps towards a transatlantic expansion, purchasing Canadian company Bento Sushi — North America’s second largest sushi chain. The BBC reports the deal was worth c.$100 million (£59 million), and will add Bento’s 600 locations to the Yo! portfolio, which currently comprises 97 restaurants across Europe, the Middle East, and Australia.

“This acquisition takes Yo! into the next stage of its development,” said CEO Robin Rowland, “and creates the first global multi-channel Japanese food purveyor”. Indeed, the acquisition is set to create what will be one of the larges sushi companies outside Japan. Bento’s founder and CEO will both join the Yo! Sushi board as part of the deal, and will look to bring their knowledge of the North American market to bear on the group’s continued expansion as “significant shareholders” moving forward.

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