Korean-American celebrity chef Akira Back is to make his European debut with a restaurant at the new Mandarin Oriental Mayfair hotel, which is scheduled to open in Hanover Square next winter.
The chef made his name at the Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge in Las Vegas, where his signature dish is tuna pizza, and also runs the acclaimed modern Korean restaurant Dosa in Seoul.
Born in Seoul, where he is known as Back Seung-Wook, he moved to Japan as a boy hoping to become a baseball star, picking up the Japanese nickname Akira along the way. He then moved with his family to Aspen, Colorado, spending seven years as a pro snowboarder before he trained as a chef.
The new hotel – Mandarin Oriental’s second in London, where it already has a Knightsbridge branch – will have 50 guest rooms as well as 78 private residencies. It is also virtually next door to Bond Street station, where the newly inaugurated Elizabeth line will link it to Heathrow in just 30 minutes – making it ideal for international visitors.