Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant group has announced the opening of its newest London restaurant: Lucky Cat will open on the site of Maze, in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, this summer.
The group will “enthusiastically embark upon creating” what is described thus:
A revolutionary new venture and concept for the group, the restaurant is set to be an authentic Asian Eating House and vibrant late-night lounge, inspired by the drinking dens of 1930s Tokyo and the Far East.
Lucky Cat will replace Maze (whose closure was announced in May) which is due to close this weekend, “after 14 years of at the forefront of the London restaurant scene” and a reported £3.8 million loss last year.
Self-styled “tofu freak” and Japanese seaweed salad mix-hater, Ben Orpwood will be “leading the charge on the innovative menu.” Chef Orpwood left Issho in Leeds to join Ramsay in January last year; a chef who in 2017 told The Caterer that his favourite hotel was Tokyo’s Park Hyatt and his preferred tipple was a Yamazaki highball. Perhaps the meaning of “authentic Asian Eating House” is also lost in translation.
Press materials nonetheless emphasise Orpwood’s credentials: His “extensive experience in the realm of Asian cuisine includes his time as executive chef at [Richard Caring’s] Asian restaurant and bar, Sexy Fish, in addition to a six-year stint at [Rainer Becker’s] Japanese concept Zuma,” it says. Alternative reading: Very good at knowing just how a monied clientele likes its raw fish.
“Just as these nocturnal clubs were once the playground of urban dwellers seeking all things spirited and rebellious, Lucky Cat has woven these notions into the fabric of Lucky Cat, as showcased in everything from the menu concept to the innovative interior design,” it adds.
Ramsay himself said: “I can’t wait to open the doors at Lucky Cat and bring a new flavour of Asian food and culture to Mayfair. I can honestly say there will not be a bad seat in the house — every table will have a unique view and each guest will come away having experienced something sensational — whether it be the phenomenal menu, the amazing service or the stunning look and feel.
“Maze leaves large shoes for us to fill, but I have no doubt Lucky Cat will more than step up to the plate.”
There’s more: “In keeping with the authenticity of the concept, the restaurant’s name takes inspiration from Asian culture where the ‘lucky cat’ is a talisman that is believed to attract good luck and fortune.” In light of the dismayed reaction to Ramsay’s new TV show Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted — a National Geographic show which will see him traveling the world while showing “locals” how to cook their own food — he’s going to need it.
Finally, per the announcement:
The new restaurant highlights Gordon Ramsay Restaurants’ continued innovation and creativity and is set to become the go-to destination for exquisite, authentic Asian cuisine and culture in the heart of Mayfair, thriving on an ethos of respect and passion that is channelled into every dish.
In Ramsay’s own words, “well done to you,” Gordon.