“I didn’t come this far only to come this far,” teased a post on Kinoya chef and founder Neha Mishra’s Instagram Stories on Tuesday, alluding to a “big day” for the Dubai restaurant.
After some speculation as to whether a second branch of Kinoya is in the offing, a call to the founder of Dubai’s most popular ramen restaurant confirmed that it is. Mishra is, indeed, taking Kinoya all the way to luxury department store Harrods in London in the second quarter of next year.
Scroll through the gallery above to see dishes from the Kinoya London menu
The izakaya-style eatery will serve many of its beloved signature dishes in the UK branch, including the shio ramen, which Mishra says "is my Kinoya Dubai signature ramen. I am looking forward to making bowls using more local produce and taking advantage of everything London has to offer in terms of ingredients."
The menu will also include robata signatures such as Wagyu tsukene, miso butter eggplant and burnt butter scallops.
"I am excited about using local scallops," says the chef.
“Opening Kinoya in Harrods, the most iconic department store in the world, feels serendipitously meaningful," says Mishra. "The launch and partnership marks our London debut, and I am honoured and excited to bring our philosophy and unique take on Japanese cuisine to this buzzing city.”
Ashley Saxton, general manager of restaurants at Harrods, says: "We are delighted to be bringing Kinoya’s renowned Japanese dining experience to London for the first time. The restaurant will offer our customers a celebration of Japanese food and culture through its authentic ramen and izakaya cuisine, curating a memorable all-encompassing food journey in our Knightsbridge store."
Mishra broke on to the UAE’s culinary scene with A Story of Food, an underground supper club that she ran for three years from her home in Dubai, welcoming 6,000 guests to her table in that period.
The gathering acquired something of a cult following and was known as much for its delectable food as its hard-to-book seats. Mishra’s social media followers watched, fascinated, as spots sold out within seconds of being posted on the Indian-born ramen chef’s Instagram feed.
Although the pandemic brought the supper club to an abrupt halt, the self-funded single mum was undeterred. Her keen business acumen and love of ramen led her to launch Kinoya in The Greens community in April last year. The evolution from supper club to restaurant also needed to happen, she said, because “I felt I’d been cooking for so long but I’d never be taken seriously enough by my peers unless I entered this arena and changed the narrative for myself”.
A place in the Michelin Guide Dubai’s Bib Gourmand list; the One to Watch Award by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants group; and now a prestigious international outpost for her home-grown brand — we’d say Mishra is well on her way to further culinary glory.