Just back from Tokyo where he lived for five years, Yamamori Sushi’s general manager, Graham Ryan, chats with us
Having lived in Tokyo for five years, Graham Ryan returned to Dublin to take on the role of general manager at Yamamori.
The exquisitely decorated restaurant offers a dining experience unlike any other in Ireland, with authentic Japanese artefacts and artworks from the nineteenth that make you feel like you’ve been dropped right into a Samurai movie, dining at Yamamori offers the whole package: great food, delicious drinks, style and a friendly atmosphere.
From the December issue of GCN (Issue 324), we caught up with Graham Ryan for our Amuse Bouche.
1. The gayest thing about your restaurant?
The Yamamori Noodles Roster on South Great Georges street, Rainbow rolls and the topless bartenders in the Izakaya basement.
2. Your ideal party of five, living or dead?
Frankie knuckles, Barbra Streisand, Beyonce, Macklemore, Stephen Fry.
3. Your favourite place to eat, other than your own, in Dublin?
Well, Yamamori has three kitchens in Dublin 1 and 2 so I do spend most of my time eating our food rotating the venue every day for lunch and dinner but I’m a great fan of Luna, the head chef there Hugh Higgins an old school mate of mine has a special touch, also Luna’s sister restaurants like the Butchers grill and 777 all consistently never fail to impress.
4. If you weren’t a restaurateur what would you be doing?
I’m a booze guy, I used to import wine, I spent 3 years with Jameson and 2 years with AbInbev selling international beers into the Japanese market. I’d probably be back there doing something similar but restaurants are my heart and soul.
5. What/Who or Where is rocking your world in restaurants right now?
I’m in love with old school ma and pop shops in the back streets of Tokyo. Having lived there for 5 years I had the unique opportunity of having dingy (but delicious and atmospheric) yakitori bars, Izakaya’s, sushi bars and great listening bars all around me.
In the western world of celebrity chefs and endless amounts of television promoted celeb cooks there is something refreshing to go to these places and eat food that’s from the soul, simple, healthy, tasty and delicious.
Having said that I like to follow David Chang, he does great stuff all the time, other than that the best ideas, restaurants and bars are found while wandering around NYC or London.
6. What does the future hold for dining?
Dinning has evolved in Dublin to a stage where you can literally have any cuisine you like at any point, which is great but we believe dining as a stand-alone experience is no longer the catalyst for people making a choice on where to dine or hang out with friends.
The customers are now more aware and sensitive to things like lighting, sound or even vision as a part of their experience in that particular evening.
Customers will continue to become more and more aware of how restaurants are ran and with the way people travel these days the knowledge of food cultures will continue to grow so the food standard should naturally grow too but ultimately the restaurants who provide the best overall experiences will be the ones that will thrive.
Yamamori Sushi is located at 38-39 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1 (right beside the Ha’penny Bridge). Check out their website here for more info on their menus and booking.