Beverley’s Japanese restaurant Ogino was established in March 2012 by husband and wife team Julian & Rieko Ogino-Stamford.
It was a brainchild born out of love and disaster. The couple’s paths collided online in 2008 and friendship soon bloomed into love, culminating in a traditional Japanese wedding in Toyokawa in 2012.
The debilitating impact of the financial crisis of 2008 threatened their livelihood significantly enough for the couple to contemplate the future. “We started to see work dry up in our construction firm as the recession progressed, so discussed diversifying and setting up a new company,” recalled Julian. “We wanted it to be unique, something that fused our skills and interests. A modern, authentic Japanese fine dining restaurant delivering a high quality culinary experience seemed the perfect solution.”
Diverse and Imaginative
Head chef Rieko conceives the restaurant’s diverse and imaginative menus. “I pride myself on creating Japanese cuisine that not only looks wonderful, but also delivers fantastic and in-depth flavour. We use all of the latest Japanese cooking techniques and every dish is lovingly prepared by our fantastic and well-trained kitchen team.” The restaurant offers a winter and summer menu, constructed to make the best use of seasonal and local produce. “It takes at least two months to devise and test new dishes before they go live in the kitchen,” says Rieko. “I’m always experimenting with new concepts and designs to keep the customers stimulated and happy so that they come back for more.”
The engaging and friendly front of house, “meet and greet” staff are led by restaurant manager and maître d’ Julian, who is passionately committed to a total customer experience. “I’m always keen to ensure that our guests are made to feel welcome; from the moment they make their booking to the time they leave.” The couple’s commitment has paid off with significant year on year increases in both bookings and enthusiastic customer reviews.
One guest recently waxed lyrical about his visit. “Outstanding food and very reasonably priced. This restaurant is, in my opinion, in the top three in Yorkshire and would give the best in the country a run for their money. The staff are excellent and extremely knowledgeable.” Another described Ogino as “divine” and the meal as “the best we have had…in the country. Good atmosphere with attentive staff. Such a nice change to have that level of service on our doorstep.”
Ogino is a hidden gem, tucked away unassumingly on the first floor of Beaver House on Butcher Row in Beverley. Strikingly, on arrival you step into an exquisitely conceived environment. “The restaurant interior was designed with modern Japanese décor in mind,” says Julian. “There are subtle hints of Japanese culture throughout: warm, inviting and beautifully lit with an immaculate open kitchen. It is spacious, airy and comfortably seats seventy people, for either intimate dining or larger parties.” The restaurant also boasts a private dining/VIP area that accommodates up to fourteen diners and is ideal for intimate parties and corporate business meetings and working lunches.
At the heart of the Ogino philosophy is the use of fresh local produce to create a unique and diverse fusion of beautifully and imaginatively prepared and presented Japanese dishes. “Almost all of our core ingredients, meat and vegetables, are sourced locally and as a proud member of the ‘East Yorkshire Local Food Network’ we have been able to expand our portfolio of local suppliers, helping sustain the local economy and drive up quality,” says Rieko. “Deliveries of fresh produce are inspected rigorously by our chefs for freshness, appearance and texture before they are considered for use.” The concept of healthy modern Japanese cuisine using local Yorkshire produce has proved to be a winning formula.
Food aside, Ogino also offers a diverse choice of wines and many authentic Japanese tipples. “Our bar offers around twenty types of Sake, Japanese cocktails including ‘Sparkling Kimono’ and ‘Mount Fuji’, Asahi beer and ten or so Japanese spirits,” says Julian. “It’s a relaxing and atmospheric area of the restaurant where you can chill out before or after your meal.”
Ogino is far more than a restaurant. “We have developed an outreach and community support portfolio to engage with our customers on a more personal level,” says Rieko. “The restaurant team run cooking classes, corporate business development and team-building workshops, visiting local schools and teaching children about Japanese culture with opportunities for hands-on sushi making. They learn about the cultural origins of Japanese food and the use of fresh fish and vegetables. We believe that these classes not only promote Japanese food and culture, but also broaden children’s palates, communicating how healthy Japanese food can be.”
Hull City of Culture 2017 has provided an excellent opportunity for Ogino to raise its profile across the East Riding of Yorkshire, and beyond. “Our aspiration has always been to bring a level of quality and sophistication that would compete with some of the best Japanese restaurants in the North of England, but also to rival restaurants in London,” says Julian. “Year on year we have set the bar higher, keen to achieve only the best. The influx of visitors into Hull this year will help us to build on our reputation and success to date.”
Julian and Rieko live in Beverley and have two lovely children Kotomi and Tomoya.
For more information and to book online visit: http://ogino.co.uk/
T – 01482 679500 E – firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow Ogino on Facebook and Twitter
HU17 Arts and Culture Editor
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