|Julian Metcalfe, Founder
Robert Jakobi, Managing Director (Metcalfe’s Food Company)
Itsu, previously Tsu, is a chain of Asian-inspired fast food shops and restaurants, and a grocery company. The first Itsu opened in Chelsea in 1997. As of June 2014, there were 50 shops in total (three of which, Cabot Place, Chancery Lane and Upper Regent Street, offer a delivery service), and two restaurants in Notting Hill and Chelsea.
Itsu received international coverage in November 2006 when it was a location in the Alexander Litvinenko poisoning affair. The Russian FSB secret service agent was poisoned with the radioactive element polonium before going on to eat at the Piccadilly branch of Itsu.
Itsu opened three new shops in 2012 in Chancery Lane, Bankside and Old Broadstreet, with a further store in New Oxford Street opening in February 2013.
In April 2013, it was announced that Itsu have plans to open a further 20 stores in London over the next three years.
Itsu began by selling predominantly sushi but the menu grew to include a selection of salads and snacks, plus some hot food offering. There are 63 different dishes available and the menu can be broken down into nine categories: sides and smalls, on a bed and low carb, sandwich & salads, hot potsus, sushi, fruit & other desserts, fro-go, snacks and drinks. Since 2013, the company has run a special offer across all branches where for half an hour before closing, every night, all sushi boxes, salads, and sandwiches are half price.
In March 2012 Metcalfe's Food Company, run by Robert Jakobi, launched the Itsu brand into retail  under the name Itsu [grocery]. As of September 2013 the brand was worth £12 million. As of October 2013 there were 16 different products in the range that can be broken down into four categories: soups and noodles (including miso soup cups and noodle pots), snacks (including chocolate covered edamame and rice cakes), sauces (including hoisin and teriyaki variants) and drinks.
The Itsu [grocery] products are sold throughout in the UK in places such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Whole Foods Market. They can also be bought online.
In August 2014, Itsu [grocery] launched a range of crystal noodle cups, which are available in three flavours. They are Chicken Jaipur, Chicken Classic and Vegetable.
In January 2014, Itsu became the Official Partner of the British Volleyball Team.
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- Charlotte Edwardes, "Mr Itsu: Julian Metcalfe on beautiful lean cuisine, why he loves London's hard-working immigrants and his noisy troupe of children and steps, "London Evening Standard", 3 February 2014