Islington start-ups: Sakura, Japanese restaurant in Caledonian Road

Mabel Lee, owner of Sakura in Caledonian Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mabel Lee, owner of Sakura in Caledonian Road. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Every week, we take to the streets to find a start-up business right here in Islington. This week, we spotted a small Japanese restaurant in the Cally – and heard owner Mabel Lee’s fantastic story behind it.

Mabel Lee, owner of Sakura in Caledonian Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mabel Lee, owner of Sakura in Caledonian Road. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

As a child, Mabel Lee used to visit 327, Caledonian Road, for fish and chips. Now, in the same unit, she has opened her own Japanese restaurant.

Mabel, 33, launched Sakura in September after the shop – most recently an Italian restaurant – had stood vacant for four years.

Mabel, who grew up in the Cally, said: “This place used to be my local fish and chip shop. I’d come here on the way home after swimming at Cally Pool.

“I had always wanted to open my own restaurant since I was a little girl. To do that in Cally Road, where I was raised, feels really special.”


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She trained in Tokyo in 2014, and added: “I put a lot of passion in my cooking: all dishes are made fresh in the morning.

“But Japanese restaurants are usually over-priced, so what I insist on is it being affordable.”

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Sakura: 327, Caledonian Road. See facebook.com/Sakura-Casual-Dining

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