Chef Izu brings French flavours home to London

Dubai-based British-Nigerian chef Izu Ani opens his first London restaurant under his own name tomorrow – a French-inspired operation in Knightsbridge.

La Maison Ani, in the Carlton Tower Jumeira hotel, is the second branch of a brand he launched in Dubai last year with Russian restaurateur Evgeny Kusin. It marks the second London opening from the pair this year, following their upmarket Greek taverna, Gaia, which launched in Dover Street, Mayfair, in February.

Izu grew up in Tottenham and trained under Phil Howard at The Square before moving to France in his early 20s. There he met his wife, Carine, before moving to Dubai as head chef at La Petite Maison in 2013. He now has a portfolio of half a dozen restaurants – including two named after Carine.

Billed as “a celebration of love and food“, La Maison Ani is an all-day affair, beginning with a breakfast selection including truffled scrambled eggs and in-house viennoiserie. The lunch and dinner menu is built around French classics from onion soup and escargots to beef tartare and salt-baked seabass, supplemented by a choice of burgers, pizzas and pasta to meet the demands of the international hotel market.

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