Sakku Leeds: Meet the chef behind the spectacular sushi creations at this Japanese all-you-can-eat

Sakku is an Instagrammer's paradise.

Saturday, 27th November 2021, 4:45 pm

With pink cherry blossom ceilings, neon signs and hand-crafted sushi that resembles works of art, there is a snap around every corner of this Japanese-inspired restaurant.

The new all-you-can-eat, in St Peter's Place, opened with a bang last month as local celebrities and influencers attended a glamorous launch party.

Heading up the sushi offering is Lattawan Buchanan, known by her nickname Chef Fern, who often prepares dishes in front of her diners' eyes.

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Lattawan Buchanan, known by her nickname Chef Fern, pictured at Sakku. Photo: Gary Longbottom.

With a big following on Instagram, she knows the importance of creating dishes that are visually spectacular as well as making the food as tasty as it looks.

Chef Fern, who grew up in Bangkok, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “When I was young my mum cooked for me and the whole family.

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"My favourite dish was Pad Krapow Gai, stir-fry chicken with Thai basil leaves, but I ate Thai, Japanese and Indian food.

Sakku restaurant in St Peter's Place.

“I started cooking when I was at high school, my mum taught me how to cook Thai food and all the techniques. And then when I grew up, I used to work in Japan and that’s why I’m interested in Japanese food."

Chef Fern has previously worked at Leeds rooftop bar and restaurant Issho, before moving back to Thailand during the pandemic where she worked at a sushi bar.

Learning from a Japanese mentor, she spent three months refining her sushi techniques before landing the job at Sakku this summer.

"The pandemic made me realise I have to work harder and harder," the 32-year-old said.

Chef Cezar and Chef Fern

"It has been a hard time for many people but I think it was a chance for me to prove myself.

“I love cooking and I’ve tried many types of food, but I love sushi. I put my Thai culture into the decoration, such as vegetable toppings like pumpkin and radish.

"My sushi looks interesting and really beautiful and the rice is so important to sushi.

"It has to be cooked perfectly - not too hard, not too soft. When you have rice with the fresh fish it's a beautiful combination.

“I practice making sushi every week and even when I get a day off, you can see me on Instagram posting new photos of the food."

Fern worked with head chef Cezar to design the menu of more than 150 dishes, which are unlimited to diners for a set price of £35 on weekends, with lower prices at lunchtime and weeknights.

Chef Cezar said: "We wanted to create an experience that allow diners to taste an extensive amount of dishes, whilst keeping a high quality.

"We've worked hard to make sure that each dish is as impressive, in both look and taste, as the last."

Customers order straight to their table an electronic tablet and firm favourites so far are the cured duck breast and the seabass sashimi.

Chef Fern added: "I knew about Cezar before I came here, he has 35 years of experience in food. He’s a very good head chef and he’s taught me a lot of techniques I didn’t know about.

"Our restaurant isn’t just sushi, but many other dishes. It has only just opened, but we already have many customers and we do our best with the service and delicious, quality food.

"We pay attention to every detail. I’m proud to be Thai and proud to be a sushi chef in England.”