A BOURNEMOUTH sushi bar has been recognised as one of the finest local restaurants in the country.

Art Sushi, which is owned by Kamil Skalczynski, was listed on the top 100 local restaurants on the Good Food Guide 2023.

Kamil and his fiancé Natalia Stawicka said it was ‘very nice’ to receive the recognition, but that it had been a long journey for the couple to reach this point.

The pair said that it still hasn’t sunk in that they had been recognised on the Good Food Guide list. The restaurant was also added to the Michelin guide in May.

Bournemouth Echo: Art Sushi

“We appreciate it so much,” Natalia said.

“We didn’t expect to get in the 100. We didn’t really think it would happen. When it happened, still to today we don’t believe it. Customers came and mentioned it to us and we don’t even believe it ourselves just yet.

“About a week ago, people came from London, they booked a hotel just to dine with us. They said ‘we only came for you.’ This couple came from London just to experience Art Sushi, so that was a nice feeling.”

Kamil added he wouldn’t be there without Natalia.

He said: “My fiancé, she is my spirit. Without her, I am not here. That is 100 per cent sure.”

Bournemouth Echo: Art Sushi owner Kamil Skalczynski and fiancé Natalia Stawicka.

Kamil, 36, is an internationally recognised sushi chef, who trained in historic restaurants and under Michelin starred chefs in his native Poland.

In 2016, Kamil competed at the World Sushi Cup, finishing in the top 16 chefs in the world.

He arrived in Bournemouth in 2017, and, despite speaking very little English, immediately landed a job as a head chef at Noodle Bar under owner Tak Ho.

After a year, Kamil decided he would leave to establish his own business, starting work on the breakfast shifts at the Hilton Hotel to give him afternoons free to work on Art Sushi.

Bournemouth Echo: Art Sushi has been recognised on the top 100 local restaurants list in the Good Food Guide.

Kamil said the Hilton helped him establish the business, starting a monthly popup sushi bar at Tonic Social at the hotel.

However, lockdown hit and Kamil was made redundant.

He and Natalia decided that the time was right for them to do Art Sushi full time, and they quickly became popular on Deliveroo working from their home.

Following their success, they began to look to the future.

They secured the premises in Westbourne in December 2020, and began work transforming the space into a modern sushi bar with handmade oak tables and sushi bar.

Bournemouth Echo: Art Sushi owner Kamil Skalczynski and fiancé Natalia Stawicka.

The pair have a focus on community and family, and the restaurant aims to establish relationships and trust with each customer, as the only open plan sushi bar in the area.

“The whole process, the whole experience is looking at the food being prepared in front of you. If people are sat at the bar, they chat to the chefs,” Natalia said.

“It’s almost hypnotising when they look at him.”

She added that since the restaurant opened in June 2021, they have been fully booked.

Natalia said: “It was lovely. I hated saying to people we are fully booked, but at the same time we loved it because the appreciation was so nice for us.”