A Grand Day Out-Mash ‘N Secretts

Few large companies manage to stay in touch with their grass roots customer base. The bigger they become the more corporate the management and the less personal the service with little or no interaction with their most valuable asset……..their customers. Newsletters and  Nectar cards just don’t bridge the gap.

What a great surprise then to be invited to “A Grand Day Out” by Mash Purveyors.

This family run business that is now a household name in every professional kitchen in London has just moved to a new multimillion pound state of the art site near Wembley Stadium. Mash HQ

From humble beginnings peddling spuds in Spitalfields market in the early 1800’s

Early Mash

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mash is now one of the most respected suppliers to the restaurant trade in the capital working with the most demanding and difficult clientele…professional chefs……but they haven’t lost touch with their customers and continue to show just how important we are.

Monday morning then 9.00am and 60 chefs from all over London arrived at Mash HQ to be greeted with a Champagne breakfast, croissants, delicious cherries, smoked salmon sliders and much more. After breakfast (sorry no photos, haven’t mastered holding a champagne glass, smoked salmon and an iphone yet!!) we were ushered onto  luxury coaches and taken to another family run business with a special history Secretts Farm in Milford near Godalming.

Here we were welcomed by the family, refreshed with cold drinks and then treated to a brilliant tour of the farm. Secretts grow a huge range of products, both avant garde and heritage, for cooks and chefs throughout the south. Our tour guide was Greg Secrett, Greg Secrett4th generation,  enthusiastic, knowledgeable, entertaining and informative, he clearly wasn’t reading a script and lives and breaths the family business passing on his love of the land and produce to his audience. We saw salsify flowers, red mustard frills, land cress, heritage beetroot, rainbow chard, strawberries, red currants, composting, potting, pruning and of course some weeding too.

Nothing is held in stock and every item is picked to order, not an easy job as Mash send down a lorry to collect orders for London’s top restaurants everyday at noon. The same traditional family values are fundamental to both businesses which is probably why they work so well together. After the tour, more hospitality as we were treated to a wonderful hog roast, cold beers and  strawberries from the farm (too busy eating to take any photos). The day finishes with a return trip to London and a tour of the new Mash HQ. This huge state of the art facility has packing rooms, cold storage, ripening rooms, foraging tables, drying rooms (wild mushrooms), preparation tables etc. The size of the investment and attention to detail is staggering.

Needless to say all the lucky chefs who attended the day were blown away by the people they met, the good old fashioned hospitality, care and generosity of the invitation. We were all inspired by the passion for the land and farming and by the range of produce available for our kitchens. Every chef went away happy, feeling valued, and motivated……what a shame the banking industry can’t learn from this.

So thank you Mash and thank you Secretts and please put me down for next year!

 

 

Kouzu, Japanese Fine Dining Belgravia

kouzutreeYears in the development and 12 months of building work turning a Grade 2 listed building in Belgravia into a flagship fine dining 良い食事 Japanese restaurant. Kouzu is now open for business.

Nestled behind Eaton Square, across from the historic Goring Hotel Kouzu provides an exquisite dining experience on 3 floors including a floating mezzanine1st floor restaurant and live sushi bar, ground floor Manhattan style bar and restaurant and secret kitchen chefs table in the basement. Décor by Jasmine Gokmen is stunning, understated, great attention to detail with fabrics sourced direct from Japan, the lobby is dominated by a fabulous chandelier made from hand made cocoons, the restaurant logo is a butterfly, space is simple, altruistic, modern but with respect for the culture and traditions it embraces.

The kitchen is run by one of the grand masters of Japanese cuisine, コック長 Kyoichi Kai

kyoichi Kai

His career spans Nobu, Zuma London, Kiku Paris and the Arts Club. He has created menus that combine the heritage of Japan with cutting edge contemporary dining. Flavours are intense, presentation stunning; quality of ingredients is paramount. His kitchen team includes some of London’s most talented and celebrated Japanese chefs.

寿司The live Sushi bar showcases Nigiri, Makimon, New Stream Sashimi and much more. We dined on Sliced yellow tail, shiso, myoga, ginger, spring onion, ponzu truffle dressing, Charcaol Tataki Tori, Sliced with yuzu kosho, pickled courgette and a stunning Roasted Black cod with miso ,fennel & celery salad

The menu also includes Tempura dishes, Tukune, Beef and Lamb from the chargrill, chefs Omakase menu and plenty more. There is also a great snack menu with Chicken Wing Ice Temperature and Kushiage (little skewers of grilled meat and fish)

The high standards in the kitchen are mirrored in the restaurant, service is immaculate, friendly and professional. Yasuhiro Komatsu of Chisou takes the helm as General Manager and Kenichi Kakita runs the restaurants. The Manhattan style bar features great cocktails, an impressive collection of Single Malts, Gins, Vodkas, Shouchu and of course sake.

Kouzu-restaurant

Kouzu has set a new benchmark for informal and highly creative Japanese dining in London.

 

 

 

When to go: Chill with drinks & Sushi straight after work

What to eat: Black Cod, Awesome Nibbles or Chefs Omakase menu

21 Grosvenor Gardens, SW1W  0JW

Tel: 0207 7307043

http://kouzu.co.uk/