SEARCH:  
Twitter Facebook RSS Feed
No Sacred Cows  
Toby Young
Friday 9th September 2005

Nozomi


Until quite recently, launching a new restaurant in London was a fairly simple matter. All you had to do was serve pan-Asian cuisine. It didn't matter how unfashionable the location, if you added edamame to the menu your restaurant was guaranteed to succeed. Indeed, at one stage pan-Asian food was so popular it looked as though miso black cod was going to replace chicken tikka masala as the nation's favourite dish.

Judging from the reception given to Nozomi, a new restaurant in Beauchamp Place, this culinary trend is past its sell-by date. The reviews have been so hostile that the hot-headed owner, Marios Georgallides, has decided to fire more or less everyone involved and start again from scratch. Consequently, on the night I went there last week, the entire kitchen staff and front-of-house team were new--and this in spite of the fact that Nozomi only opened on July 2.

Part of the reason it has provoked the ire of my colleagues, I suspect, is because Georgallides has surrounded himself with floppy-haired aristos. Among those "involved" in Nozomi--whether they're investors or not is far from clear--are Prince Maximilian von Thurn und Taxis and Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe. There are no fried potatoes on the menu at Nozomi, but unless you were born with a silver chopstick in your mouth you're quite likely to have a few chips on your shoulder by the time you leave.

Georgallides used to be the owner of Attica, a once-trendy nightclub, and a good two-thirds of the customers in Nozomi looked as though they weren't planning to go to bed much before 4am (and preferably not alone). It's the sort of place Prince William and Kate Middleton might drop into on their way to Bouji's or Movida--though probably for the vodka shots, rather than the food. Nozomi is a restaurant for people who prefer to ingest their carbohydrates in liquid form.

The décor is surprisingly tasteful, given how flashy the clientele are. It has one of those minimalist, cream-and-wood interiors that are sometimes described as "Japanese art deco". As you enter, you find yourself in a bar, with the restaurant located on a higher level reached by a small flight of stairs. Above that is a shushi bar and--as you'd expect from a restaurant started by a former nightclub-owner--a VIP lounge. I searched in vain for some cosmetically-enhanced ex-celebrities, but, alas, Mickey Rourke was nowhere to be seen.

It's probably too early to judge the kitchen at Nozomi, given that the staff had only been there a few days on the night I went, so I won't hold it against them that the yellowtail and toro sushi weren't available and that they couldn't meet my companion's request for decaf coffee. What they were able to produce--salmon roe sushi, lobster tempura, assorted maki rolls--was fairly run-of-the-mill, the kind of stuff you can get at any bog standard Japanese restaurant. The only sign of originality was the edamame which had been deep-fried in chilli oil. When my companion, who wasn't used to Japanese food, popped a whole edamame into his mouth and started chewing I thought he was going to pass out.

Will Nozomi be around in five year's time? Given the owner's poor management skills, that seems doubtful. On the night it opened, the restaurant was picketed by a disgruntled ex-employee and it subsequently emerged that the fashion designer Scott Henshall had threatened to take Georgallides to court to settle an unpaid bill. The fact that he's now replaced the entire staff, including the maitre 'd, suggests

he lacks the cool business head needed to survive in this world. Nevertheless, let's hope it at least stays open long enough to be featured on the next series of Gordon's Kitchen Nightmares, if only because the clash between Georgallides and the Glaswegian ex-footballer would be absolutely electrifying.

I know who my money would be on.

[ FIXED LINK ] Bookmark and Share





Twitter My essay in Intelligence about the left’s difficulty with behavioural genetics, evolutionary psychology, etc. link  (2 hours ago)

BEST OF THE WEB

The Warlock Hunt by Claire Berlinski - the-american-interest.com
Is classical liberalism conservative? by Yarom Hazony - jerusalemletters.com
The Implosion of Western Liberalism by Patrick Lee Miller - quillette.com
The Eton of the East End - Daily Mail
The reactionary temptation by Andrew Sullivan - nymag.com
The book that scandalised New York intellectuals by Louis Menand - newyorker.com
To understand Britain today, look to the 17th Century by Adrian Wooldridge - economist.com
The crisis in France by Christopher Caldwell - city-journal.org
A Visit to Michaela School by Patrick Alexander - prospectmagazine.co.uk
Why parenting may not matter by Brian Boutwell - quillette.com
Trump Establishment's Cultural Significance Explained by Michael Wolff - newsweek.com
Branching histories of the 2016 referendum by Dominic Cummings - dominiccummings.wordpress.com
Putin's Real Long Game by Molly K McKew - politico.com
The Flight 93 Election by Publius Decius Mus - claremont.org
How the education gap is tearing politics apart by David Runciman - theguardian.com
What's wrong with identity politics by Graeme Archer - conservativehome.com
Grammars and the grain of truth by Jonathan Porter
Anti-Brexit: Britain's new class war by John O'Sullivan - nationalreview.com
The English Revolt by Robert Tombs - newstatesman.com
Democracies end when they are too democratic by Andrew Sullivan - nymag.com
Human beings really are making progress by Steven Pinker - edge.org
What ISIS really wants by Graeme Wood - theatlantic.com
A society ripe for Submission by Douglas Murray - quadrant.org.au
Beware the soft Stalinists of the campus by David Aaronovitch - thetimes.co.uk
Why I'm a Conservative Teacher by Jonathan Porter - conservativeteachers.com
Corbyn's Inconvenient Truth – He wanted the IRA to win - youtu.be
Corbyn's first seven days - theguardian.com
Corbin's cabinet chaos by Darren McCaffrey - news.sky.com
Why I've become Tory scum by Tony Parsons - gq-magazine.co.uk
Inside Westminster's free school - telegraph.co.uk
Jeremy Corbyn's politics are a fantasy – just like Alice in Wonderland by Tony Blair - theguardian.com
Robert Conquest obit - telegraph.co.uk
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite – it's so much worse than that - news.stv.tv
In defence of free schools by Toby Young - standpointmag.co.uk
 

BLOGROLL

Andrew Lilico
Andrew Neil
Andrew Sullivan
Arts and Letters Daily
Bagehot's Notebook
BBC News
BBC Sport
Benedict Brogan
Brendan O'Neill
Bruce Anderson
Coffee House
Conservative Home
Damian McBride
Damian Thompson
Dan Hodges
Daniel Hannon
Ed West
Frank Furedi
Guido Fawkes
Harry Phibbs
Iain Dale
Iain Martin
James Delingpole
James Wolcott
Joe Murphy
John Rentoul
Labour List
Mark Steyn
Matt Drudge
Mehdi Hasan
Melanie Phillips
Michael Wolff
Nick Cohen
Nick Robinson
Nikki Finke
Normblog
Paul Waugh
Peter Hitchens
Political Betting
Right Minds
Rob Long
Rod Liddle
Slate
Sophy Ridge
Stephen Pollard
The Arts Desk
The Corner
The Daily Beast
The First Post
The Omnivore
The Onion
Tim Shipman
Tim Stanley
Tom Shone
 

COLUMNISTS

AA Gill
Aidan Hartley
Allison Pearson
Allister Heath
AO Scott
Boris Johnson
Charles Moore
Cosmo Landesman
Daniel Finkelstein
David Brooks
Fraser Nelson
George Monbiot
Giles Coren
Henry Winter
James Delingpole
Jan Moir
Janan Ganesh
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Warner
Jim White
Jonathan Freedland
Lloyd Evans
Manohla Dargis
Martin Samuel
Mary Ann Sieghart
Matthew d'Ancona
Matthew Norman
Maureen Dowd
Michiko Kakutani
Owen Jones
Patrick O'Flynn
Paul Krugman
Peter Bradshaw
Peter Oborne
Philip Collins
Polly Toynbee
Quentin Letts
Rachel Johnson
Rod Liddle
Roy Greenslade
Tim Montgomerie
Trevor Kavanagh
 
UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the book on Amazon.com


  • UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the book on Amazon.com


  • Audio Book Cover

  • Buy the audio book from
    Whole Story Audio
  • DVD Cover

  • Buy the DVD from Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the DVD from Amazon.com


  • IMdb Page on the film