Sugimoto spent nine years at Le Meurice in Paris, where he rose to head chef, after beginning his career at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
Restaurateur Marlon Abela, who also owns Umu and the Greenhouse in Mayfair, bought The Square from Howard and his business partner Nigel Platts-Martin, who founded it together 25 years ago. It won consistent praise for its “complex and highly innovative” cuisine from the Harden’s Survey.
Sugimoto says he will make the food lighter, and has moved from three to four smaller courses to give customers more choice and flexibility. The restaurant will be refurbished in January.
Howard is in the process of opening his new Chelsea restaurant, Elystan Street. Curiously Howard also says he is going to make the food at Elystan Street lighter too! with more emphasis on vegetables and somewhat less on protein.
Elystan is set to open on 27 September, and is another product of Phil Howard’s partnership with Sonny’s owner, Rebecca Mascarenhas, of which the most successful so far has been Kensington’s Kitchen W8.