An interesting article by Rhymer Rigby in the Financial Times this weekend looked at the story of three folk from the financial sector who broke out and set up successful eateries.The story caught my eye as one of them is responsible for Saki, a restaurant I ate in last week. The proprietor, Ayako Watanabe formerly of Accenture, decided to take advantage of what she saw as a gap in the market for all the kinds of Japanese food that Britain is currently unaware of; the most commonly known gastronomic export being sushi.
“Watanabe opened Saki in London’s Smithfield in 2006. Upstairs is a Japanese grocery store and downstairs a restaurant. Like Chugh, she has found the hours long and the work hands-on (she moved house to be 15 minutes’ walk from her premises).”
She also comments that her consultancy experience has held her in good stead for adopting numerous roles in her new venture. As far as I could see, her efforts are paying off. I chanced this previously untried place (by me and my colleagues) for a client meal and I was a great choice. It doesn’t look like much more than a takeaway from the street, but downstairs there a nice dark decor that aids a relaxed atmosphere. For a client or journalist lunch, I like the kind of place that when you reach daylight it seems like you’ve been there for a good while. These aren’t things to rush.
The sushi was of exceptional quality with all present unloading the superlatives. It was the first time I’ve had lobster with Japanese and swordfish sashimi. The overall experience was highly enjoyable with the minor exception of what appeared to be an honest mix-up over one of our dishes.
I’ve not got a star rating system yet, but I’m safely adding this to my list of places to eat near work.