What were your food predictions for 2016? And which of those food predictions do you think have come / are coming true?
We’ve seen lots of new trends present themselves this year and are excited that a lot of them are already tied into the Kurobuta menu. The trend for Japanese Izakaya restaurants is still big and booming, and the growing popularity has led to the successful opening of our third restaurant located in Harvey Nichols.
Everyone seems to be jumping on the raw food bandwagon which I predicted they would - eating clean and lean! Joe Wicks cookbook, “Lean in 15”, is said to be the reason why the sales of tenderstem broccoli sales have gone up by 25% and there is even a new restaurant opening up in June in central London called “Rawligion”, serving a menu entirely of raw food.
Middle Eastern food is becoming more and more popular too with new restaurants popping up all around London throughout the summer. This trend is not just limited to restaurants as it’s also appearing in home cooking as well; with the release of Sabrina Ghayour’s new recipe book “Sirocco” coming out this month.
And of course the love for avocado is still going strong as I thought would be the case – just take a look at Instagram. There’s even a pop up this year featuring a five-course avocado brunch menu! In terms of drinks, gin is seeing a big surge in popularity again this summer! Several gin bars have opened this year, most notably The Gin Bar, which has the largest selection of gin’s in London…
How important is it to follow food trends?
Obviously it’s important to keep on top of all the latest trends and be aware of what’s fashionable and what’s not, but as a restaurant it is important not to lose your core identity. That being said we love to be creative and are always improving and updating the menu; but at the same time sticking to the traditional Kurobuta style of cooking that we are known and loved for!
Which food trends are influencing you the most at the moment?
The demand for donuts is still huge and we’ve come up with some amazing creations at Kurobuta, like Matcha Cream Donuts and Green Tea Donuts.
Also, Corn Dogs – we are doing a new Kurobuta take on these! Tako-Yaki Corn Dogs. Essentially they are a cross between the traditional tako yaki (little octopus balls) and your typical sideshow corn dogs. It's a cracker! They look like donuts but are filled with super tender octopus chunks and topped with thin streams of tonkatsu sauce and mayo.
What new ventures does Kurobuta have in store?
We have a great new offering on Tuesday’s called Tight Ass Tuesday! Experience a selection of our amazing Japanese Izakaya dishes every Tuesday for just £28… From 6pm onwards, head to any of our sites - Kings Road, Marble Arch or on the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols - and simply tell your server “FEED ME”… then sit back and let them do exactly that….
We are also about to launch a brilliant weekend brunch at all our venues. We have been road testing it at Marble Arch and it has worked a treat, so now we are ready to roll it out.
I’ve also got a very exciting new cookery book on the horizon called Junk Food Japan….watch this space!
How do food trends influence your menu decisions?
Not that much to be honest – I’m always aware of them and interested in experimenting and being creative in the kitchen with new dishes but ultimately all the dishes I put on the Kurobuta menu have to taste amazing and fit in with our brand.