Even TAG Catering Equipment’s business development manager Michael Bradley admits that he didn’t quite grasp the concept of the new Kojawan restaurant when the Japanese izakaya’s (gastropub) founders first approached the dealer.
TAG already knew one of the chef proprietors, Bjorn Van Der Horst, as the firm had worked with him when he was the director of food, beverage and kitchens at Rosewood Hotel in Holborn, London.
So when he contacted the company last summer with an outline of what he wanted for Kojawan, TAG had to interpret what he meant.
“It was quite challenging for him to explain because at that stage the menu hadn’t been written, but the concept was there,” said Bradley.
“For us it is always very important to find out what the client’s actually trying to achieve, so that we can make sure that the kitchen will deliver.”
But through spending time with its client, TAG found that Kojawan wanted to deliver Japanese-style tapas in an unusual, space-age themed setting, situated on the 23rd floor of the Hilton London Metropole hotel in the Edgware Road area.
However, as Kojawan is leasing the venue from Hilton, this meant that the hotel was another party TAG had to please with the kitchen design.
The project was complicated further as the space had stood empty for around 2 years – and it had previously been home to a regular Japanese restaurant.