The chef Angelo Sato, who most recently worked as head chef at Tom Sellers’ Story in Bermondsey, today revealed to Eater London that he will launch Mission Sato — two new bento box shops — this August.
Sato, who was born and brought up in Japan, wants to improve Londoners’ experience of “everyday sushi”. Despite the popularity of Itsu and other sushi chains, a reliable, quality product is hard to find in the mid-market; a sector in London which lags behind an accomplished high-end — see Sushi Tetsu and The Araki. The chef told Eater London that he, “Wants to give customers the same [memorable] experience of the ‘first bite’ that they get from a restaurant [dish]. I want to try and change people’s perception of quote-unquote ‘fast food.’”
Some might say it’s a surprising move for a chef who has worked — in Tokyo — at Narisawa, RyuGin and DEN — considered to be three of Japan’s best restaurants. Before assuming the head chef role at Story, Sato worked at Royal Hospital Road under Clare Smyth before going to New York’s Eleven Madison Park as a senior sous chef. At the age of 15 Sato apprenticed at the famous Tsukiji (fish) Market in Tokyo.
Mission Sato is Sato's reworking of traditional ekiben — Japanese takeaway bento boxes which are often bought in train stations in Japan. The first site will open inside Old Street Station on 3 August; a second site on Bermondsey Street will follow on 8 August. The goal, over the next five years, he said, “was to have between 10 and 15 sites and two to three production kitchens overseen by a chef.”
Ambitiously, Sato says he wants to give people a food-in-a-box experience akin to the kind you might expect from “a Michelin-starred or 50 Best kitchen.”
At the outset, the menu will include five original bento boxes that are prepared on the day by Sato and a team of three other chefs. "Fantasy of Salmon" will include Scottish Loch Duart salmon nigiri, salmon rolls wrapped in bean curd and avocado and traditional garnishes. "The Humble Chicken" is dashi-cooked chicken and shiitake rice balls with a ‘surprise’ mini chicken "scotch egg" drumstick. He will work closely with suppliers such as Murray’s Fresh Fish, MASH purveyors and Select Meats and Lake District Farmers.
Prices will start £6 per box. As well as the bento boxes, Mission Sato will offer a small range of donabe onigiri — stock-cooked rice balls, wrapped in bamboo leaves.
Unit 8, Old Street Station, London EC1Y 1BE: Monday — Friday: 7am – 7pm; Saturday 11am – 5pm
27 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF: Monday — Friday: 11am – 4pm