As Market Halls West End announces the restaurant line-up for its biggest London food hall yet, an unbilled opening could offer one of its more interesting new dining options. Yatai, by Angelo Sato, will offer chirashi, katsu sandos, and maki rolls across separate yatai, 屋台, a pushcart on wheels kitted out to serve and master a single dish, in the shokunin tradition. Sato tells Eater that “Yatai is on a mission to bring a taste of Japan to the everyday consumer in a fast and affordable manner, using techniques and recipes you would only find a Michelin starred kitchen.” It’s a bold statement to bear out.
Sato already has form for chirashi — literally “scattered” sushi, in which fish raw or cooked is presented on top of sushi rice — at Omoide, in Bermondsey; the katsu sando is, for better or for worse, an “it” dish, driven by Tātā Eatery’s Tou and the considered imagination of chefs Zijun Meng and Ana Gonçalves. Sato’s will feature a hakata ramen katsu sando, as well as offering the panko-fried cutlets of pork and chicken with curry sauce.
It’s not yet clear whether the third yatai will be separate, or take over either the chirashi or katsu sando cart come dinner, but it promises maki sushi: a broad category defined by being wrapped in nori. Sato launched a short term bento box operation called Mission Sato at Old Street, whose sushi competed with the likes of Itsu on price and rinsed them on quality. There’s promise here.