Cristiano Ronaldo's new restaurant Zela set to open in London this month

The Japanese and Mediterranean fusion is also backed by Rafael Nadal and Enrique Iglesias

Colin Drury
Saturday 15 September 2018 14:43
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Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed for Juventus earlier this year, is among the restaurant's high-profile financial backers
Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed for Juventus earlier this year, is among the restaurant's high-profile financial backers

While it's normally his efforts on the field that grab the headlines, Cristiano Ronaldo is turning his attention to something a little different: the restaurant business.

His new eatery, Zela, is to open in London's Covent Garden later this month and the Portuguese forward confirmed he is "very excited" about the new venture in an Instagram post.

The restaurant – a Japanese and Mediterranean fusion – is owned by Mabel Hospitality group but counts the footballer as a financial backer, along with tennis player Rafael Nadal and singer Enrique Iglesias.

It will be based at the ME Hotel on the Strand in Covent Garden.

A press release said it hoped “to make its mark on the city’s culinary and nightlife map, for London’s foodies and the international jet-set alike, with exotic menus and vibrant atmosphere.”

The new venue is the second outpost for the Zela brand - the flagship restaurant opened in Ibiza in May last year.

Michelin-recognised chef Ricardo Sanz has been announced as the “gastronomic director”, and has called the food on offer “meppon cuisine” – Japanese techniques applied to Mediterranean ingredients and traditions.

The menu will feature fresh fish and seafood; raw dishes including tatakis, tartares, sashimi, sushi and tiraditos; and classic dishes like pork gyoza. Available on opening night will be dishes such as tiradito of scallops with Ibizan sobrasada and butterfish nigiri with white truffle.

Abel Matutes, of Mabel, said: “The food scene is the best, the hottest in the world. London is the perfect place to bring the Ibiza concept to. All of our backers are very involved and are real foodie guys. Cristiano and Rafael in particular love London.”

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