BASINGSTOKE residents are now spoilt for choice when it comes to sushi with two restaurants opening in the town in the last few months.

Yamazaki Sushi Bar is the second sushi restaurant to open after The Sushi Maki launched in Festival Place.

The family-run Yamazaki Sushi Bar was the dream of husband and wife team Navesh and Kalbana Ghale, who moved to the town from London a year-and-a-half ago with the ambition to launch their own restaurant.

Kalbana is a trained sushi chef and previously worked in Hong Kong at a Japanese restaurant.

Meanwhile Navesh has plenty of front-of-house experience having worked in hotels for the past 20 years.

The couple were living in London for the past 10 years, having moved there from Hong Kong.

Navesh said: “London is too big for us. It’s too expensive, it’s hustling and bustling, so we saved every penny and decided to open our own business. We thought ‘let’s move somewhere where houses are cheaper that’s not too far from London’. Basingstoke is very well connected to London and there is a Nepalese community here.”

Navesh, who is originally from Nepal, said it was difficult launching at the same time as another sushi restaurant, but said Yamazaki offers something slightly different, with cold sushi available alongside hot meals inspired by Japan.

“We are tucked away in Feathers Lane, but once people started to realise we are open they try our food and see we have good service and good food. The town isn’t that big, so people talk, and they talk about the good things. We are on TripAdvisor and we are starting to get good comments. Word of mouth is very important. In the two months since opening we are doing pretty well.”

The 47-year-old father-of-one said he and Kalbana have brough in other family members to help out, with his brother-in-law running the kitchen.

He now has big plans, explaining: “Our ambition is to grow the business and we hope to work with the Haymarket Theatre to offer a pre-theatre dinner.”