We sit down with Pietro Rizzo, Bar Director, and Miho Sato, Head Sushi Chef, at The Aubrey, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, who tell us more about their exceptional, award-winning venue.
Please tell us about The Aubrey, London.
[Pietro] The Aubrey is an award-winning elevated izakaya. Our bar and restaurant draw inspiration from the fascinating life, and controversial work, of Aubrey Beardsley, the originator of Japonisme and an integral part of the Art Nouveau movement. We serve the finest sushi, robata and seasonal dishes, paired with a critically acclaimed cocktail programme.
Talk us through your amazing cocktail creations. What stemmed the inspiration for these serves?
[Pietro] Our commitment to excellence ensures that every aspect of our cocktails meets our exacting standards. The Japanese element is seamlessly woven into our drinks, creating a unique and captivating beverage offering that sets us apart from other venues. We honour the Art Nouveau philosophies and Aubrey’s legacy; we embrace the rich traditions of Japan, resulting in a truly exceptional experience for our guests.
You offer both, exceptional serves and amazing edible dishes. How important are your food offerings to your venue, and how do these elevate your cocktail creations?
[Pietro] At The Aubrey, our food holds great significance, as it enhances and complements our drinks and flavours. We incorporate iconic Japanese ingredients like Sakura, Yuzu, Ume and Plum, in food and drinks alike, creating a wealth of harmonious blend. The synergy between food and beverages is often a source of inspiration for us.
[Miho] A meal is a journey of both food and drinks. It is the combinations of flavours, textures, temperatures that excites our palettes. The two cannot be separated as they act as one, to give our guest a memorably beautiful experience.
What would you say have been the key elements to your success?
[Pietro] The key to our success lies in our strong teamwork. Each member of our team is passionate about their job and shares the desire for a prosperous establishment. Each person in the team has a unique skill or interest that they are working on and we all learn from each other.
How do you stay current and up to date with trends in an ever-changing industry?
[Pietro] I have the opportunity to travel extensively, attending major industry conventions and participating in seminars on Omakase Drinks and Japanese flavours. We also host industry evenings here at The Aubrey, were we get together to share ideas and trends.
What advice would you give to an up-and-coming bar?
[Pietro] Have a vison for your concept, and a plan of how you want to achieve it. This is, in my opinion, the only way to stay focused on your objectives and achieve your goals.
What are The Aubrey’s short and long-term goals?
[Pietro] At the Aubrey, we are looking to heighten our after-dinner drinks service: we are on the path to becoming the destination in Knightsbridge, London, for unparalleled drinks and food, after dinner up until 2am. We believe that high-quality dining and cocktails can also be enjoyed in a convivial atmosphere. Long-term, it is no secret that The Aubrey would be proud to the gain yet more recognition and awards, establishing itself as one of the best bars in the world.