Under the umbrella of restaurant group LSL capital, which she runs alongside father Dinesh Nair, Samyukta’s portfolio includes the Michelin-starred Jamavar and upmarket Indian eatery Bombay Bustle – with new French bistro Socca on the way (a partnership with Claude Bosi).
The latest addition to the collection, KOYN is a two-storey space housed in the former US embassy. It’s set to be a magnet for interior lovers, with the design spearheaded by Samyukta alongside Fabled Studio’s Tom Strother. The restaurant will be split into two distinct areas: Midori and Magma, inspired by the dual nature of Mount Fuji in Japan, both its calm slopes and its fiery centre.
Diners will enter on the ground floor at Midori, a horticultural haven channelling Japanese zen gardens – think light green leather banquette seating and iridescent oyster shell walls, with a marble sushi bar in the middle. Downstairs, meanwhile, you’ll find Magma, a subterranean space featuring black oak ceilings, focused around a charcoal-fuelled timber robata grill with burnt orange stools – a nod to the heat of the volcano.
The kitchen is led by Executive Chef Rhys Cattermoul, a former Nobu chef, who continues the theme of duality through his menu, showcasing the broad spectrum of Japanese cuisine. His signature dishes include steamed clams ‘nabe’ with cordycep mushroom, yuzu sake soy, spinach and samphire, alongside red mullet tempura with kombu salt.
He’s joined by KOYN’s resident sushi master, who serves up dishes like lobster tempura sushi roll, and Japanese wagyu with asparagus and black truffle. From the robata, meanwhile, diners will be treated to the likes of hojicha-smoked lamb marinated with spicy miso, hispi cabbage grilled with koji dressing, and wagyu ishiyaki served on a sizzling hot stone.
Downstairs, a guest DJ will keep things lively – and, if you’re after something even more exclusive, a private dining room sits behind a set of black sheer blinds.
Samyukta Nair says: ‘I am thrilled to be carving our own unique perspective on Japanese cuisine with KOYN. I have long admired Japan for its understated elegance, expertly-made craft and philosophy that balances modernity with tradition. While working with Rhys on this project I’ve been able to get a deeper understanding of Japanese culture through our food journey and this is something we want to pass onto our patrons at LSL Capital’s fifth Mayfair venture.’
Imagery by David Loftus and James McDonald. koynrestaurants.com