A new Japanese cultural centre called Japan House on Kensington High Street will include a high-end restaurant and is due to launch “soon” this year, Eater London has learnt. Akira Shimizu, formerly the executive head chef of Engawa, the kobe beef and bento specialist close to Piccadilly in Soho, will lead a new kitchen that aims to “emphasise the rich regional diversity and seasonality of Japan’s cuisine.”
A holding website for the apparently big-money London project states: “Japan House London is a new cultural centre offering visitors an experience of the best and latest from Japan. Housed in a Grade II listed, Art Deco building, the three floors will include a gallery space with a rotating programme of exhibitions and events, a Japanese restaurant and an extensive retail space.”
Last month on Instagram, Japan House ran a teaser: “We look forward to introducing you to washoku, Japanese food, such as sushi and robatayaki [charcoal slow-grilled meat and seafood] at Japan House London’s restaurant.”
Dishes are said to be “presented in an original and creative way, on ceramic ware from Japan.” Akira Shimizu currently has two other restaurants — both in Tokyo, Japan: Yakitori Akira and Mizutaki Shimizu.
The centre will open at 101 – 110 Kensington High Street, on a site adjacent to Derry Street.
Japan House is launching similar projects — in both Los Angeles and Sao Paolo. The centres are designed to celebrate Japanese art, design, food, technology, innovation, and craftsmanship.