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Cristiano Ronaldo-Backed Restaurant Will Come to London from Ibiza

Zela — a Japanese-influenced Mediterranean restaurant — will open in Covent Garden this September

All you can eat sushi brunch is taking over London restaurants
Sushi and sashimi at Zela — in Ibizan export coming to London
Zela [Official Photo]

A new high-end Ibiza-born, Japanese-inspired restaurant called Zela will open at the ME Hotel on the Strand, Covent Garden in the third week of September this year. It is owned by entrepreneurs Manuel Campos Guallar and Abel Matutes of the Mabel Hospitality group and counts footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis player Rafael Nadal, and the singer Enrique Iglesias among its “VIP partners” (financial backers / ambassadors.)

Per the release, the 100-cover “Zela restaurant will be jetting in to London with a unique blend of Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine, craft cocktails and slick service with Ibizan beats.” It is the second outpost for the brand, whose flagship opened in May 2017 in the prestigious Marina Botafoch neighbourhood.

Its aim?

“To make its mark on the city’s culinary and nightlife map, for London’s foodies and the international jet-set alike, with its exotic menus and vibrant atmosphere with a touch of Mediterranean flare.”

How Zela in London will look
Zela [Official Photo]

Guallar and Matutes (and their high-profile partners) are also behind Spanish restaurant brand Tatel, which has sites in Madrid, Ibiza, and Miami (and which is soon to launch in Beverly Hills, LA.)

Michelin-recognised chef Ricardo Sanz operates as Zela’s “gastronomic director,” who with the Tatel team has created the what he calls “Meppon cuisine” — which is Japanese techniques and flavours applied to Mediterranean ingredients and traditions.

The menu will feature a lot of fresh fish and seafood from the Mediterranean; raw dishes including tatakis, tartares, sashimi, sushi, gyozas, and tiraditos. Classic dishes set to arrive in London this autumn include tiradito of scallops with Ibizan sobrasada; and butterfish nigiri with white truffle. Elsewhere, there’s Iberico pork gyoza, usuzukuri toro pa amb tomaquet (thinly sliced tuna belly sashimi with grated tomato, olive oil and bread) and 48-hour braised Wagyu teriyaki.

Usuzukuri de toro pa amb tomáquet (Toro with tomato)
Zela [Official Photo]

At breakfast, presumably because it’s in a hotel, there’ll be “healthy and traditional continental and English breakfasts,” which will sit alongside the ZELA Japanese breakfast which includes a miso soup, fermented soy beans, pickles, and nori.

Drinks-wise, Zela says it has created a cocktail menu “which harmoniously balance Asian ingredients with the zest of the Mediterranean.” The result might be found in a Santa Maria (sherry, homemade spice mix, tomato, and basil) and Harakiri (sake, lime, egg white, shiso syrup). There’ll be Spanish wines and sakes, too.

Aitor Samperio, managing director of Mabel Hospitality said: “We’re delighted to be bringing ZELA to London, a city that has proved itself as the dining capital of the world. The diversity of London´s culinary scene provides an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our take on Japanese meets Mediterranean cuisine.”