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Interview with Aman Lakhiani – Executive Chef and Co-founder of Junsei
INTERVIEWS

Interview with Aman Lakhiani – Executive Chef and Co-founder of Junsei

This week we caught up with Aman Lakhiani – Executive Chef and Co-founder of Junsei.

Can you tell us what inspired you to become a chef and your journey in becoming a chef?

Ever since I was young, I loved going out to eat. Growing up in Jakarta, Indonesia there is food on every corner, dim sum carts, fried rice and satay stalls would stop by houses throughout the day to feed all the locals. My family loved eating as well, during gatherings or holidays we would always go out together to try new restaurants, travel to other countries and eat new food. Watching chefs on TV also inspired me that cooking could be doable, and even though the first few items failed, I just found it incredibly fun. The more I cooked for my friends and family the more I loved it. Then I started staging at a few restaurants in Jakarta and before I knew it, I was studying culinary arts at Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI and then working at restaurants in Barcelona and Bali.


For those who haven’t eaten your incredible food at Junsei, how would you describe it, and what dishes can guests find on the menu?

Junsei is an elegant yakitoriya situated on Marylebone’s Seymour Place, specialising in all things skewered whilst championing a zero-waste ethos. At Junsei, we shine a spotlight on yakitori (meaning ‘grilled bird’), and use every part of the animal, but also offer kushiyaki vegetable skewers, elevated donabe (rice) bowls and seasonal Japanese hot plates. Expect innovative, soulful, and challenging dishes which feature modern twists on timeless classics and utilise authentic Japanese techniques like delicately grilling dishes over Binchōtan – a white charcoal using Japanese oak – which is considered the purest charcoal in the world.

Do you have any culinary heroes?

Honestly there are so many. David Chang, Fergus Henderson and Albert Adria just to name a few. They all have changed the culinary landscape we now dine in. From their different concepts to the way they grew their restaurants, each of these chefs have changed the trajectory of dishes for years to come.

Best piece of advice you have been given?

The best advice I have received is to believe in myself. To stay strong and work hard is difficult in the chef business because it’s so emotional. Your heart is on each and every plate and when people don’t like it, it can be painful. But everyone has different opinions so it’s important to believe in what you are doing and to stay strong and true to yourself.


Are you working on anything new, that you can spill the beans on?

I am always cooking Indonesian food and do hope to bring that to London one day. But besides that, Junsei is working on doing a delivery and takeaway menu. So stay tuned…

If you had a free day in London to do what you want, where would you go?

I love going to a good match, watching a good fixture at Emirates, Stamford bridge or White Hart Lane is great fun. The energy is electric. Especially when the home team wins, all the restaurants and bars around the area are a romp.

For more information on Junsei or to book a table visit: https://junsei.co.uk

Photography courtesy of Junsei

#chefAmanLakhiani #Junsei

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