Firstly Andrianos, Happy New Year to you! What are your plans for the 2023 menu?
Happy New Year to you, too. At KURO, we want to be as seasonal and sustainable as possible. As Bjorn frantzen once mentioned, spring is a slow start of everything that comes back to life. I want to represent this with my menus and try to encapsulate each season in small plates of food.
The menus, in general, will slowly start offering bolder dishes and the flavours and produce will be the protagonist of each dish. We are also wanting to continue the mindset that every culture is connected through food and incorporate subtle elements from different cultures in each dish.
Talk us through your journey into the industry
My family from my mother’s side was and still are working in the hospitality industry around the Balkan region.
I started cooking in Greece and was 17 when I had my first job in the industry at a catering company in Athens. After my military service, I headed to London to pursue my culinary career further. In time I adapted to the kitchen brigades here and met a lot of different personalities that helped my culinary journey from Clos Maggiore with the classic French finesse to Ottolenghi with the more modern approach to cooking.
Prior to KURO, I had stints at Rovi in Fitzrovia, Mazi in Notting Hill and Cornerstone in Hackney.
How would you define your cooking style?
I would describe my cooking style as a melting pot of cultures. Simplicity and balance in a dish are key for me.
I have a particular love for Greek produce, but I also really enjoy incorporating ingredients from different cultures around the world – for example, using spices, condiments etc. that I’ve tasted throughout my life journey.
What is the cuisine focus at Kuro Eatery?
At KURO, we mainly focus on seafood and fish, as I feel more at home with that kind of cooking. The central theme of the menu is Mediterranean, but it also integrates different techniques from around the world.
Will you be incorporating seasonal produce into the dishes?
We change our menus every 2-3 months to incorporate more seasonal produce in each one. We are still a young restaurant and there will be a lot more seasonal produce on the upcoming menus. It’s incredibly important for me to cook according to the season and good quality produce is always essential.
What is your favourite dish on the current menu and why?
Stone bass au Poivre, hands down! It’s an excellent play on the classic steak au poivre where we age the stone bass whole for four days, fillet it and grill it on the Konro until its slightly translucent in the middle. We then serve it with salsify purée, nasturtiums, and, to finish, a beef jus with vermouth vinegar and pepper oil made from beef fat. It’s a really hearty and warm dish ideal for the cold winter months.
Is it important, in your opinion to create an experience with food?
I feel the term “experience” has taken a twisted approach in our industry, and people expect theatrics and showmanship. For me, the true food experience is a well-made meal with a great atmosphere. I want people who come to Kuro to enjoy their food and have a great time without worrying about restaurant etiquettes.
What makes Kuro a unique culinary experience, what can we expect?
I want to say the simplicity of it. We have nowhere to hide. We are not a white tablecloth restaurant, no waiters in suits with white napkins on their hands. What you see is what you get, and that’s what I like about it—everything in its raw form.