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Q & A with Simon

founder of Little Tokyo

Hello! Below you will find an exclusive interview with the man who build Little Tokyo into the business that it is today. We will be diving into exclusive questions that have never shared with the public before, do read ahead to get to know us a bit better.

-The new main bar of Little Tokyo (2021)-

-A photo taken at the early days of Little Tokyo-

Q: Where did you get the ideas to design the restaurant in such a way?

A: Back in the 90s, I was walking pass a music shop that had these beautiful planks of sycamore ready to be crafted into a Cello. I had imaged that if I ever opened a restaurant, I would use them as tables as I took a liking to their natural shape. I thought it would be an attractive feature.

Q: Any major highlights in the 20 years you’ve been running the business?

A: When Yorkshire evening post reviewed us after 3 weeks of opening and we were put onto the front page.

Q: What is the most memorable compliment you have ever received?

A: I remember a couple had just came back from NY the very same day, they dined with us and said it was as good as it was in NY. They loved the atmosphere. Many customers had asked me to open additional stores in London, down south, Brighton, Harrogate, Holland, Germany everywhere in the world… there was much love shared. Although I was doing 19 hours days, I was still very happy and would continue to put my energy into the business. The everyday compliments are my driving force to do better.

Q: What makes you wake up each and every day?

A: A sense of duty to my family and customers. No questions asked. Just get on with it, that’s “life”.

-A view of downstairs seeting-

-Upstairs bar (2020)-

Q: What was your longest week and why?

A: Average week is 100 hours Monday – Saturday, sometimes in a Sunday I would need to drive down to London to buy additional stock or dishes, I only knew how to work work and work

Q: Some of your customers still come by and ask for you, how do you feel?

A: Very happy that people still remember me, I’ve put my time in and given the best that I can. Please come back! Come book him and say hi. I would love it very much!

Q: To the customers that you no longer see, what message do you have for them?

A: I miss serving you all, I enjoyed the time we spent together.

Q: If you could do 1 thing all over, what would you do at LT?

A: What I have achieved is what I have achieved, wouldn’t change anything for the world.

Q: What is your favourite type of coffee?

A: A nice Italian coffee, served in Italy. Although I’m always happy with an English tea, first thing in the morning. It doesn’t taste the same if you don’t drink it in England. Trust me.

Q: LT used to host shows with lightsabres and announcements, do you miss doing those and why did it all stop?

A: Yes, I do miss those days, although I got many bruises from the shows. I loved performing the matrix and the lightsabre fights, because my secret dream is to be a mime artist.

Q: Who was/ is your favourite staff of all time?

A: Too many, we have so many dedicated staff who did their best. I treated them as friends and good workers. When a staff appreciates their job, it is reflected on the management. Many nationalities and cultures

Q: What is your favourite dish?

A: Beef Teriyaki Bento Box. The beef is from a local farm that we have to drive 45 minutes to collect. The beef is from a 2 years old calf and the fillet is matured for 28 days beforehand; we always settle for the best that we can find, even if that means more work, as I only want to give the best to my customers

– Santa dash 2009 –

–  A photo taken on the early day –

Q: What are your plans for the future of Little Tokyo?

A: To sustain it and to encapsulate the business just as they way it was built back in the early 2000s. I think I’ve successfully created a restaurant that is rather unique and inviting. I will also look to take a backseat role and pass the business to the next generation.


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