A CHEF has reflected on a whirlwind year that has seen his restaurant receive national recognition.

Kamil Skalczynski owns Art Sushi in Westbourne, which was named on the OpenTable top 100 restaurants in the UK, as the only representative in Dorset.

It was one of just two Japanese restaurants to be named on the list.

This accolade followed the restaurant being included in both the Michelin and Good Food Guides, including on the Good Food top 100 local restaurant list.

Kamil said he ‘still can’t believe it’ after the restaurant has received some of the highest recognition in the country.

Bournemouth Echo: Art Sushi is in Westbourne.

“You know when you’re doing what you’re doing, and you don’t expect to get such an achievement,” he said.

“I am shocked. In six months, the biggest achievements in the country.”

Kamil and his fiancée, Natalia Stawicka, both said they are enjoying the journey, aiming to create the best restaurant experience they can, and encouraged others to do the same.

The pair said they had great pride in becoming something of a destination restaurant for the area.

“With this achievement, we are an attraction for Bournemouth and Dorset, so we are taking customers to the city, this is another good thing,” Kamil said.

“Bournemouth is a small city, but most people when they are talking about experiences or good restaurants, it is always London [as a] foodie place.”

Bournemouth Echo: Art Sushi have celebrated being named in the prestigious Michelin Guide.

They want to continue to attract people to the area, while building a community and working with other local businesses and people to promote the area and the food opportunities in Bournemouth.

The couple said the restaurant will continue to provide top quality, fresh food in an intimate setting, saying they must be careful to continue to meet their high standards.

“We are very grateful for this,” Natalia said.

“A simple thing that is in your heart, works so well and people appreciate it.

“We’re doing this our way, we’re not going to change it. We can upgrade, but we aren’t going to change it, because this is working.”

Bournemouth Echo: Art Sushi in Westbourne has seen national recognition in the past year.

They have some plans for next year, but said that consistency was key.

She added: “We are very excited for next year.

“I feel like there will be a lot more doors to open, we don’t know exactly what direction we can go. There some plans we have, we want to cooperate with a few local people.

“There are some ideas, but we aren’t going to tell yet.”