Update: Jiji is now billed as a Middle Eastern restaurant rather than an Israeli restaurant.
Located just off Upper Street on Esther Anne Place, Jiji is billed as a relaxed yet refined space serving “elevated Japanese and Israeli cuisine in an environment reminiscent of home cooking.”
The menu is inspired by regular trips from Wolkow to Tel Aviv and was put together by longtime Sumosan Executive Chef Bubker Belkhit. It will be cooked daily by chef Jeremy Borrow.
Dishes on the launch menu include roasted cauliflower in jalapeño sauce; “Perfect egg” with truffle polenta; eggplant flambé with tahini jalapeño and a selection of sushi dishes such as torch-grilled scallop nigiri with crème fraîche and ikura; and a sushi roll with sweet shrimp and crispy quinoa.
Designed by Design LSM, the restaurant will be decorated with eclectic artwork and will also house a corner selling homemade sauces, condiments and books, providing “a friendly and welcoming space where patrons will feel right at home.”
“I think Tel Aviv and Tokyo are two of the most innovative culinary capitals in the world,” says Wolkow. “In Tel Aviv, the way the chefs combine unusual flavors is very creative and inspiring, they favor raw fish dishes and clean, fresh flavors, which led me to the conclusion that a combination of Japanese dishes and Israelis could really work.
Sumosan was founded in Moscow by Wolkow and his father Alexander and now operates contemporary Japanese restaurants in Knightsbridge in London, Russia, France, Germany, Montenegro and the Middle East.
Like Sumosan, Jiji is backed by private equity firm Cain International.