The team behind Jidori in Dalston has announced that it will open a second location for the yakitori and Japanese small plates restaurant. It is set to open — with the addition of a karaoke room for private parties — in Covent Garden on Tuesday 27 February.
It is the second collaboration between owners Natalie Lee-Joe and Brett Redman. Redman is, of course, also one-half of Neptune (due to open in March) and the Richmond whose quiet closure now begins to make a little more sense.
Lee-Joe and Redman will again work with architect Giles Reid to “create a clean, wood accented aesthetic,” but instead of pastel colour palette, as at Dalston, the new site will be “darker and more in the style of an izakaya,” Redman told Eater London. Head chef Shunta Matsubara will move from Dalston to lead the kitchen, with a menu dominated by yakitori from the Kama-Asa Shoten grill, (itself made by a hundred year old manufacturer from Tokyo with whom Jidori have collaborated for the second time.)
The new restaurant will takeover a four-story period, terraced building on Catherine Street, with the restaurant principally situated on the ground and first floors and accommodating approximately 50 covers. The basement room will feature a private dining karaoke room, available for exclusive hire for groups up to 12. Redman says the room is tiny, low-ceilinged and “too hot, too cramped, but probably just how it should be.”
About the property, Redman told Eater London that in ten years of looking at restaurant sites, he’s “never come across anything like this.” The trio have taken on the whole building, but Redman is keen to stress that each floor “is tiny” though it did recall “memories of wandering around Tokyo, and finding different rooms” within, above and behind restaurants, bars and other spaces.
Natalie Lee-Joe said:
“I’ve been travelling to Japan for years and some of the best memories I’ve made are with friends on a night out singing karaoke at the top of my lungs while eating and drinking well in to the night. We firmly believe food is always at the heart of a good night out, the space in Covent Garden allows us to bring the fun back into dining with our own karaoke room. Our little spot in Dalston will always be our home and moving into central London allows us to build something more exciting in Covent Garden, it’s the right move for us.”
Dishes currently on rotation on the specials board in Dalston will be introduced permanently to extend the menu with a series of small and larger plates, designed to be shared in the evenings. These dishes will sit alongside their trademark yakitori skewers, such as the popular tsukune (minced chicken with egg yolk) and fusion riffs like the katsu curry scotch egg, okra-nomiyaki and the ginger ice cream with miso caramel and sweet potato crisps.
Covent Garden will also offer an extended drinks menu of artisan sake, craft beers and not-classic cocktails, including frozen yuzu maragaritas with togarashi salt.
Jidori Catherine Street will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, with a focus on midweek rice bowls during the day; sharing-style yakitori, small plates and low-lighting will help reconfigure the space for an izakaya-style atmosphere in the evenings.
Jidiori Covent Garden will open at: 15 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JZ.