Where Chefs Eat: Taiji Maruyama

Born in Fukushima, third-generation Sushi Chef Taiji Maruyama, of Maru in Mayfair, shares his favourite dining spots.

Ginza Kojyu - Tokyo 

Ginza Kojyu is a two Michelin star restaurant located on the fourth floor of an unassuming office block in Tokyo. Chef Toro Okuda serves a kaiseki-style multi-course menu, with seasonal ingredients being the primary focus of each dish. The counter dining restaurant has a sleek, minimalist Japanese style interior and seats just eight people with a further three private dining rooms, divided by paper screens and has traditional Japanese tatami flooring throughout. Reservations are required in advance. 

Nobu - London

Nobu, co-owned by Robert de Niro, offers Japanese- Peruvian fusion cuisine in a minimalist setting and is a favourite for many A-list celebrities such as Elton John, Brad Pitt and Kate Moss. Nobu on Old Park Lane first opened in 1997 and is London’s original Nobu location. There are now many Nobu restaurants all over the world, with Nobu Old Park Lane being the first in Europe, and yet it still retains a certain exclusivity and buzzy atmosphere. The restaurant still serves Black Cod Miso, the brand's signature dish which is loved by many.   

Lasarte - Barcelona  

Only 11 years after chef Martin Berasategui opened Lasarte’s doors, the Barcelona based restaurant was awarded three Michelin stars in 2017. Lasarte is described as much more than chef Martin Berasategui’s gastronomic vision, it is a spiritual project. The dishes vary, depending what ingredients are in season and are influenced by both the Catalonia region and Chef Berasategui’s home Basque region. Chef Berasategui himself has more Michelin stars than any other Spanish chef with a total of 12 stars awarded over the space of his career.

Beaverbrook - Surrey

Beaverbrook is a quintessential British country estate with a luxury hotel and spa, tucked away in the beautiful Surrey Hills - just 20 miles from London. Within the country house hotel is The Japanese Grill, a boldly decorated restaurant that offers Japanese menus blending classic and modern cuisine imaginatively inspired by local and seasonal ingredients. Expect distinctive dishes, served in a traditional and elegant setting. Request the omakase menu that let’s you eat your way through the chef’s favourite starters and multi-course menus.

Brygga 11 - Sandefjord, Norway

Brygga 11 is one of two restaurants run by chef Geir Skeie, and specialises in serving local seafood delicacies on the waterfront in an informal setting. In 2009 Geire Skeie won the Bocuse d’OR, one of the world's most prestigious and celebrated cooking competitions. The chef’s menu varies depending on what the fisherman bring in, making Brygga a seasonally-led treat.

Having started his career in Tokyo at restaurants including Ginza Kojyu (3 Michelin Stars), Taiji Maruyama moved to the UK where he worked in Nobu before becoming Head Chef at acclaimed Surrey hotel, Beaverbrook. In 2020 he joined Taka, a luxury Japanese restaurant in Marylebone, as Executive Chef. 

In June 2021, Maruyama opened his first concept restaurant; Maru in Shepherd Market, an intimate omakase-style tasting menu-led restaurant which seats up to seven people per sitting, with all guests being served directly by Maruyama from behind a hand-carved timber counter. His menus expertly combine a farm to table approach with “shun”, the traditional Japanese belief that food should only be eaten in season and when it is at the peak of its flavour. 

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