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Wed 19th Apr 2017 - Tak Tokumine to open flagship London Japanese food hall
Tak Tokumine to open flagship London Japanese food hall: Japan Centre founder Tak Tokumine is to open a flagship Japanese food hall in London in September, in Panton Street. The flagship food hall will combine a range of specialist food rooms, with all of the traditional departments of a “depachika” (the Japanese word for a basement food hall), set around a central 100 seat dine-in courtyard. Tokumine said: “I am very proud to announce the launch of the new Japan Centre flagship store in Panton Street. This central location off Leicester Square will be the new home for all things Japanese in London with our Japanese take on the shop, dine and experience concept. I’m very excited to be opening the doors this autumn.” The new site will consist of a main food hall, three different “specialist” rooms, a central courtyard eating area, open kitchens and a “beautiful Japanese entrance experience”. The first specialist room will be The Tea Room, where customers will be able to order tea by the gram, browse and sample different teas guided by knowledgeable staff all within a calm relaxed area made from light birch elements and fresh planting. The Sake Room will allow customers to browse, sample and purchase from the wide range of sake available with sake experts available to help with any queries. Decoration will include light Japanese woods and sake barrel-inspired fittings to create a sense of a traditional Japanese sake shop. Lastly, The Miso Room will serve fresh miso, where customers can not only sample and learn about the different uses of miso in cooking but will be able to weigh their own and purchase hard to find, small producer products. Large Japanese barrels of miso give this room a real authentic shopping experience with a cosy and rich atmosphere communicated through bespoke design elements. The main open and bright food hall will offer a wide range of fresh, dry and packed goods with a large selection of daily ingredients Japan Centre is known for, from dashi and soy sauce, to seaweed and freshly milled rice for all of your Japanese cooking needs. This will be supported by an aromatic Japanese bakery, fruit and vegetable stalls, fresh sashimi fish and meat counters and an authentic homeware section to include books, magazines, ceramics, wagashi, gifts and a gift wrap area. There will be a demo kitchen as part of the space where customers can see live demonstrations using ingredients from Japan Centre and a traditional yatai stall as part of the entrance experience. Customers will have the option of take out from the main sozai deli counter from a wide selection of freshly prepared favourites including ramen, hand pulled udon, Japanese curry, and a wide variety of gyoza and tempura. Customers can also dine in the central courtyard which will be the new eating destination for London, perfect for quick bites, or longer lunches and dinner. In February, Shoryu Ramen Restaurant Group, which specialises in authentic Hakata cuisine and was founded by Tokumine, received an investment from Toridoll Holdings Corporation, operator of 1,000 restaurants globally, most notably Japan’s udon restaurant group Marugame Seimen. Shoryu Ramen’s parent company Shoryu Holdings had turnover of £7,243,651 (2014: £4,881,636) in the year ending 31 December 2015 and made a profit before tax of £446,046 (2014: £530,004). Toridoll has acquired 40%, valued at just under £7m, of shares in Shoryu Holdings and aims to expand Shoryu’s restaurant estate. Launched in 2012, Shoryu Ramen has nine sites with its London restaurants in Regent Street, Broadgate Circle, Soho, Kingly Court, Covent Garden and Westfield Stratford City, as well as Shoryu Go, a dedicated tonkotsu ramen take-out bar in Air Street. Sites outside the capital are Shoryu Manchester and an international outpost in the Japanese town of Hakata.

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