Sushi Shop is a ground-breaking global sushi chain, combining takeaway casual, fine-dining quality, experimental cuisine, and collaborations with some of the world’s greatest chefs. Kitty Harris floats between branches in London and Paris to discover more
Grégory Marciano has brought gastronomic sushi collaborations to the Paris dining scene. His Sushi Shops, 36 in Paris and more than 130 in total around the world, combine a chilled-out takeaway twist alongside annual partnerships with some of the greatest chefs in the world.
Unsurprisingly, at their core is a blend of French gastronomic culture and Japanese heritage. Being a regular at his London, Marylebone store (kumquat and yuzu sunny roll and detox poke bowl, please) I jumped on the Eurostar to try the latest creations of Kei Kobayashi, this year’s collaborator, in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris. I started with the Salmon Gravlax roll, a reinterpretation of Kei’s signature dish, with turnips, carrots and mint with a spicy tapenade-style sauce. Followed by the Gyu special roll, on top of which the beef carpaccio was blow torched twice to lacquer the teriyaki sauce.
Kobayashi is one of a number of celebrated chefs who had worked with Sushi Shop. Others include Joël Robuchon, the most Michelin-starred chef in the world; Jean-François Piège, of the two Michelin star ‘Le Grand Restaurant’ in Paris was followed by Thierry Marx of ‘Sur Mesure’, the two-Michelin starred restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Paris.
Japanese-born Kobayashi has just received his second star at his French restaurant ‘Kei’ in Rue Coq Héron in Paris. He trained with Piège, the legendary Alain Ducasse, and Christophe Moret of the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris. “My inspiration comes from the products. Each product is unique and the ways to cook them are infinite. Especially vegetables…I couldn’t live without vegetables.” His Sushi Shop creations, the garden maki and red miso cucumber salad with peanuts, maple syrup, chilli and yuzu zest are testament to this.
Back in London, Marciano tells me that the plan is for high-end sushi collaborations to take over the world. Currently in more than 130 locations from New York to Madrid, he is well on his way, with Amsterdam and Zurich opening this year. A true raw revolution.