the journey so far
Julian Metcalfe opened itsu Chelsea in 1997 whilst working at Pret a Manger (which he co-founded in 1986). At the time there were only a handful of Japanese restaurants in London; they were dull & expensive. In building the itsu brand, Julian and his team then spent years listening to customers and built a new type of food place altogether: light, green and good for you.
Today, with 70 shops across England, our eat beautiful menu celebrates the amazing flavours of the Far East; high in nutrients yet refreshingly low in calories and saturated fat. Julian and his team continue to create light, nutritious and healthy dishes which actually taste delicious.
as of today we have
As of today we have 70 shops in London and prime sites in Central Oxford, Richmond, Stansted Airport, Bicester Village and Brighton by the seaside. itsu is run by many inspired operators and managers. Much of the ‘best of Pret’ learning has been woven into the fabric of our company.
Eat Beautiful…Do Beautiful. We are consistently mindful of our environment, striving to produce the most innovative, healthy, delicious food from responsible sources, packaged in the best quality most convenient available. Our work’s not done, and we know there’s more we can do to go greener, better, more sustainable. Watch this space for our Corporate & Social Responsibility strategy, which will be launched this year. In the meantime, click here to find out more about our approach to fish sourcing and here to find out more about our packaging. If you want to find more specific details about any of our products and they are not within the ingredients page, get in touch.
fish at itsu
itsu uses fresh Atlantic salmon, farmed along the Norwegian coast, giving the salmon optimal water currents, an abundance of clear cold waters and good oxygen levels. We are currently exploring the potential of ASC certification with our supplier Leroy. Salmon is rich in Omega 3, protein and oils that contribute to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and weight.
We only ever use sashimi grade tuna loin, adult fish, yellow fin tuna, to protect the long term sustainability of the species. itsu never sources blue fin tuna, which is in danger of extinction. Our tuna is immediately flash frozen at -60 so as to seal freshness and quality. itsu sources only yellowfin tuna, never bluefin. The fish we buy are caught by deep water set lines, a method which avoids the horror of “bycatch”, where animals like dolphins, turtles are caught up in the fishing process and destroyed or dumped – which is something that we at itsu cannot endorse. Tuna has lots of Omega 3, selenium and B vitamins – great for a healthy heart, mind and body!
packaging at itsu
We currently recycle all our back of store waste and the majority of our sites are zero to landfill. Our napkins, paper bags, plastic cups and lids, sauce bottles, snack boxes and our premium noodle cups are 100% recyclable. Our stand-out spork is made of polystyrene, which can be recycled but not widely in the UK- please ask your local council if they have the facilities. In the meantime, pop your spork in the dishwasher and re-use it! Our sushi boxes and soup cups and lids are recyclable where facilities exist – they need to be plastic coated for food safety reasons, which is why they have specific recycling requirements. While our crispy seaweed thins have a 100% recyclable inner plastic tray, the foil outer packaging contains aluminium; vital for keeping the seaweed fresh and crispy. This is currently not recyclable but we are hoping this might change in the future as local authorities improve their recycling facilities. Our itsu Supply Chain Director, Andrew, is currently leading a complete review of all our existing packaging and our end to end packaging processes to minimise our impact on the environment, ensuring you can Eat Beautiful. Watch this space!
the half price sale
The story behind the sale... On one of his trips to Japan, Julian encountered something truly inspiring. Upon his return, he described what he had experienced and came to make it an integral part of itsu...
'The most beautiful food I've ever seen in my life is prepared and sold in the department stores of Japan. Hundreds of skilled people prepare thousands of boxes... always fresh, always delicious, always beautiful, each day. Salads, sushi, vegetables, main courses, puddings... everything. Half an hour before closing there is always a half price sale. It's crazy... but exciting.'
It was (and is) uplifting for many reasons and is now a part of the daily practice for each and every one of our itsu shops. The efforts, skill and passion of the team members are not wasted. Almost nothing goes in the bin & customers get to try different dishes. It's a clear win-win for all!
Discover our latest cookbook in your local itsu! itsu 20-minute suppers
Quick simple and delicious noodles, grains, rice & soups. This revolutionary cookbook provides simple, nutritious, easy to follow recipes, all of which can be made within 20 minutes. Why resort to nasty ready meals when you can cook itsu-style meals at home in minutes?
100 Asian-inspired recipes for soups, salads, noodle dishes and sushi, as well as itsu favourites such as teriyaki dishes, brown rice pots and iced teas.
pink ribbon foundation
We're proud supporters of the Pink Ribbon Foundation... You'll find little tin boxes in front the tills in all our stores.
The money lovingly donated by our customers and our team members is given to the Pink Ribbon Foundation on a weekly basis.
You'll also find Ty Nant water for sale in store. The Ty Nant special ice-like PET bottles with Pink caps and Pink labels support the Pink Ribbon Foundation as well. Drink Pink.
Find out more about our dedicated charity and how you can join in the fight against breast cancer.
For more information click here.
itsu are the proud partners of the Volleyball England Beach Tour. Butterfly light, eat beautiful food helps support the healthy and active lifestyle of England’s beach volleyball athletes.
beach tour dates
We’re excited for the 2017 season to start!
Watch this space for the 2017 tour dates if you want to join us in supporting the team
for more information about Volleyball England please click here