Eater London has learnt that chef / entrepreneur Angelo Sato’s three month-old bento box business — Mission Sato — has ceased trading in the Old Street station location where the concept launched in early August. He did however tell Eater today that he will continue to operate from his second site — also takeaway only — in Bermondsey, in south London.
Mission Sato shared a retail unit inside the busy east London station with a number of other food operators, including Mamas Jerk, and at the Old Street Mkt — which functioned primarily as a coffee shop, but as well a showcase for a number of small, mainly fledgling retailers.
The unit, which cost £250 per day in rent, was leased for a period of three months. Sato says he sublet the space from the cafe owners, but those operators have decided not to renew the lease (which now appears to have been taken on only for the three month period.)
Angelo Sato has worked in many of the world’s most renowned restaurant kitchens, including Narisawa, RyuGin and DEN in Japan; Story and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London; and Eleven Madison Park in NYC. His bento box concept — which includes salmon (£8.50), tuna (£10), chicken (£8) and vegetables (£8); as well as donabe onigiri rice balls (£2.50) — represented a new, entrepreneurial route for such a talented chef and was thought to be a potential game-changer for the grab-and-go lunch market. However, he told Eater London today that he was not convinced that the concept worked in Old Street or that it was what customers necessarily wanted at lunchtime.
He did confirm that the brand will continue to trade and that he will proceed with plans to open fixed, permanent sites in the new year — the first being in March, with a wider food offering, which will add to rather than replace the bento boxes.