Working as a restaurant PR there is always a flush of excitement when briefed on a new launch, and none more so than the launch of Europe’s largest Japanese Food Hall – Ichiba. Opening in Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush on 14th July, Ichiba will be part of the shopping centre’s new leisure and dining experience.
The 17,400 sq. ft. flagship store will feature food stations dedicated to freshly prepared and cooked food including ramen, curries and sushi, making it an ideal location for those without dinner plans. The main food hall will offer a large range of Japanese staples and kitchen essentials, from rice, miso and tea, to a wide selection of sake and confectionery, alongside books, beauty products and handpicked ceramics from the leading craft prefectures.
Ichiba is the first joint venture between the Japan Centre Group and Cool Japan Fund, which helps support businesses to promote Japanese food and culture overseas. The fund’s partnerships with local and artisan suppliers across Japan will allow Ichiba to offer authentic products and rare regional produce from some of the best producers and farmers exclusively to the UK, which as a restaurant PR is a dream as it adds another layer to the press story.
Other partners include Gekkeikan sake and Kikkoman who will be able to offer shoppers a unique opportunity to sample and try new products while gaining advice and confidence to include Japanese ingredients in their dinner plans.
In-store experiences are also a key part of the new format concept. Theatrical kitchens will be set around seating for over 200 covers with a changing schedule of weekly cooking demonstrations and workshops, events, regional food and drink festivals and sake tasting seminars. Guests will also be able to dine in the outdoor terrace.
As their restaurant PR team Me:Mo have been tasked with launching Ichiba to the media and to date we have secured coverage in titles including Hot Dinners, Big Hospitality, The Code, London on the Inside and Time Out. We are also in charge of their launch event and press confirmed to attend feature Waitrose Kitchen, Olive, Daily Mail, BBC Good Food, Sainsbury’s Magazine and Bloomberg to name a few. The event will not only consist of showcasing the wealth of products on offer but will also include a wide selection of canapes and sakes made by the expert kitchen team, so no need for anyone to make any dinner plans.