A marketing entrepreneur is to launch Birmingham’s first Argentinian restaurant in a partnership with the team behind Lasan.
The £1 million Fiesta del Asado will specialise in barbecued meats cooked over wood chip in an open kitchen. The restaurant aims to satisfy a demand for rustic, homely cooking in a relaxed, celebratory atmosphere.
The directors hope Asado, on the Hagley Road, will freshen up the city’s restaurant sector, create work opportunities for young people and redress the flow of catering industry talent to London.
The 100-120 cover restaurant is being set up by Andrew Kleanthous, a self-styled “serial entrepreneur,” together with Lasan founder Jabbar Khan and well-known TV chef Aktar Islam. A soft launch is planned for the end of October.
The trio have also set up a separate company, Restaurant Angels, as a turn-around consultancy for failing restaurants.
The partners stressed Asado will not be a Lasan Mk II. Aktar Islam, for example, will continue to cook at the award-winning Indian restaurant, near St Paul’s Square. His role with Mr Khan will be to advise on recruitment, strategy and direction for the new venture.
The kitchen at Asado will be a separate entity from Lasan with a separate staff specialising in Argentinian cuisine. Mr Kleanthous, Mr Khan and Mr Islam have been keen to pre-empt criticism – namely, “What does an Indian restaurant know about Argentinian food?” – by stressing Asado and Lasan will have no culinary or conceptual connections.
That said, Asado’s association with Lasan, albeit in management terms, will raise expectations and is bound to fuel interest in the new restaurant.