Jackson Boxer started young, establishing his much-adored restaurant and bar Brunswick House in a crumbling Georgian mansion in Vauxhall in his early 20s. His chic neighbourhood restaurant Orasayin Notting Hill opened in 2019, specialising in seafood.
While caviar and Kettle chips at Orasay remain a coveted cult snack, the current climate has Boxer re-evaluating how he structures menus in order to achieve accessibility and affordability. One dish that exemplifies this is a £15 deep-fried haddock bun on the lunch menu that is “flying out.”
“We hadn’t really considered sandwiches as being a thing that people wanted from restaurants but that’s changed now. People are really really excited to sit in a restaurant and have an experience of restaurant service and comfort but to have something that is filling and emotionally satisfying.”
For Boxer, the value resides in the peerless ingredients and “extraordinarily good” supply chains he’s established. “A fish that has been caught with rod and line and lifted out of the ocean and packed directly into ice and is sent up to a restaurant the same day is of incomparable quality. Not only is that kind of virtuous from a question of responsibility, it also means that the quality is by far the highest.” Even the best fishmonger would struggle to compete on price and quality.
There’s value, too, in the warm fuzzies — those intangibles you can’t put a price on.
“The amount that we as cooks and servers invest every day in making sure that everyone who walks through our door has an incredible time and feels the love and care and attention in what we do and experiences an enormous, palpable sense of well-being.”
It’s why he does what he does. “In restaurants, you’re not always going to have great years. You’ve got to be there for people when things are tough, just as when things are good.”