Maki goers, rejoice! You can soon enjoy your favorite dishes from Maki in the heart of London. What began as a dream to create a certain cuisine that transcends the boundaries of culture and country is now a fully-fledged reality that started in the heart of Kuwait. We interview Maki co-founder Oliver Zeitoun to learn more about their upcoming London location, as well as to celebrate the Maki journey that has been pleasing gourmands in the Middle East since 2002.
Hi Oliver! How has the year 2015 been for you?
The year 2015 has been great for Maki and for myself on a personal level. We are happy to be receiving positive comments from our fans in Kuwait and Bahrain, especially when it comes to the introduction of our new dishes and menu sections. This year we introduced our Akagome(red rice) menu to Maki, as well as a variety of new dishes, which became popular very quickly.
How has Maki expanded internationally throughout recent years?
We have recently been expanding solely in the Middle Est region, where we have opened several locations in Kuwait, Lebanon, and Bahrain. This expansion strategy has recently evolved with a look towards expanding into London, and other culinary capitals. Our vision has been, and shall always be to spread the concept from Kuwait to the rest of the world.
Tell us a little bit more about Maki London. Why was London chosen as a new location for Maki?
London has been chosen specifically for its outstanding and innovative reputation as a culinary crossroads where different flavors, influences and textures may be explored. It is no secret that London is considered one of the culinary hubs of the world. What better way to showcase Maki than opening in one of the liveliest cities, on which millions of foodies and gourmands converge yearly?
Where will it be located in London?
Maki will be located in the ‘heart of London’ on Dean Street in Soho.
What should London diners expect from Maki? London diners should expect the same quality we have constantly provided in Kuwait, Bahrain and Lebanon, which has won awards and received acclaim from diners and critics.
Are the menu offerings different from what customers usually see here in Kuwait?
The menu will have many dishes similar to the current menu, but also some brand new items not seen before. These are ‘staple’ dishes that will transcend markets. They are the ‘essence’ of the
Maki philosophy and concept. We will of course cater dishes to the regional palate.
Which is your favorite Maki location, and why?
I love every single Maki location equally! I cannot feel otherwise, as I have had special memories in each and every location. I have fond memories with my friends, and with the staff whom I consider to be my extended family. Besides, each Maki location has something special or different in character, and the ambience is slightly different at each, but all draw me in!
What are some of your plans for the year 2016?
We are planning to get the London location up and running and enjoy watching it flourish in the West. It’s a lot of work, but it would be a great accomplishment for a ‘Kuwait-born’ concept to thrive in London and the rest of the West. After that, there will be ‘no holds barred’ as far as our expansion is concerned. The sky is the limit…
For more information, follow Maki on Instagram and Snapchat @MakiRest or visit www.olivermaki.com.