Portfolio.hu shared an interview with Zoltán Roy Zsidai of the Zsidai Group, who are opening a restaurant in Hungary this May. Jamie’s Italian Budapest is located in the Castle District and its prices are expected to be the same as in quality Italian bistros.
“Opening a restaurant in Budapest is hugely exciting. Our first site is right in the heart of the Castle District, which has got to be one of the most beautiful places to be opening a restaurant. We’re working with a fantastic local partner, and we’re already on the hunt for brilliant suppliers and producers. I can’t wait to get the doors open! ” writes Jamie Oliver.
According to Portfolio’s report, becoming partners with Jamie’s Italian meant to adapt to certain rules and standards for the Zsidai Group. Getting the brand itself was, of course, a huge expense, and eventually, the cost of the restaurant got more than 300 million forints. The brand is popular, especially because all the dishes are prepared from quality ingredients and are still affordable at the same time.
The Group worked together with an interior designer from London: they were offered the option to choose who they want to work with of a list of particular Londoner designers. Therefore, the appearance of the restaurant will be even more different from the ones in Hungary, aiming to create something unique.
Moreover, there were certain interior elements, including furniture and vintage lamps that were imported from Great-Britain because of the standards. According to Zsidai, this made their job more exciting and expensive at the same time. He also highlighted how these companies in London were very professional and experienced.
The kitchen obviously got a lot of attention and further requirements had to be fulfilled to fit Jamie’s brand. One of the most important criteria was about the treatment of the animals; the menu therefore, cannot include for example, fatty livers of geese and ducks, net-fished fish or herbivores that were fed with food of animal-origin.
Zsidai told portfolio that it has been tough to find suppliers and producers who could appropriately fulfill all the specifications necessary for the brand. Thus, in the case of vegetables (although, depending on the season) it is rather beneficial to cooperate with Hungarian suppliers. However, there are ingredients – flour, mozzarella (vegan option too) and olive oil – that are brought from Italy.
He also mentioned that they have been working on uploading the JOSIE database for more than six months now. The database consists of the commodities, each by 150 parameters. The menu will vary according to the seasons, but will feature about 40 dishes, all based on Jamie’s personally created recipes. However, the chefs will be able to show their personalities through the dishes later as well.
Also, they will react to the local needs, but they have to keep the standards first, and calculate with the allergens. Thus, if everything goes well a Hungarian chef’s recipes could even get to be used in Australia or Moscow. The aim is to create something worthy and valuable, profit is neither Jamie Oliver’s nor the Zsidai Group’s primary aim.
Making profit is of course, important, but portfolio writes that the participants calculate profitability on the long term: they would like to earn in decades, not in the first weeks or months. Their business plan shows that the return of the investment is expected in about 5 years, if everything goes well. The price category of the restaurant is said to be the same as the other quality Italian bistros. A pasta, for instance, will cost about 2200-2800 forints.
Jamie’s Italian Budapest is going to be a classic but also modern Italian restaurant, with amazing food. The dishes are made with careful consideration and paying attention to the details, and this also concerns the serving. This, according to Zsidai, is exceptional in Hungary, because the guests will get all these things at the very same time, none of the these will be missing.
Copy editor: bm
Source: portfolio.hu; jamieoliver.com