Fusion food will be hitting the headlines again when the Sugar Club's celebrated chef, Peter Gordon, opens a new restaurant in London's Marylebone High Street on 15 August.
The venture - which includes a 47-seat restaurant, the Providores, and a more informal 50-seat caf‚/wine-bar operation, the Tapa Room - is the joint brainchild of Gordon, his fellow-chef and Sugar Club colleague Anna Hansen and front of house comrades Jeremy Leeming and Michael McGrath.
"All four of us have been going to Marylebone for years and love the village atmosphere - the fact that it feels like a neighbourhood and is so central but without all the chaos of Soho and the West End," said Gordon. He estimated that up to £400,000 will have been spent on refurbishing the two-storey site, which formerly housed a Thai restaurant and the Black Horse pub.
He added: "We've put in our own money and we also have backers - Annie Small, a New Zealander, and restaurateurs Tarik Bayazit and Savas Ertunc, who own a restaurant in Istanbul which I consult for."
Both the Providores and the Tapa Room will open seven days a week, the latter on an all-day basis allowing it to serve both breakfasts and light meals at lunch and in the evening. Gordon anticipates spend per head in this as starting from £9. There will be a wide selection of wines available by the glass and, as with dishes on the main Providores menu, the Tapa Room will offer Gordon and Hansen the opportunity to showcase their unique blend of Western and Asian-Pacific cooking.
Dishes such as fava bean stew with boiled egg and sumac, fiery prawn laksa with rice noodles, and pumpkin, lemon grass and Parmesan risotto will be on the opening Tapa menu. And the Providores will include salmon braised with miso and mirin on snake bean, chorizo, peach and chilli stew among its main offerings and passion fruit panna cotta with rose petal jelly and lemon myrtle biscotti in its dessert selection. Spend per head, here, will be about £40 for an evening meal, estimates Gordon.
Gaining guide accolades, said Gordon, was not the main priority at the Providores. "We'd rather just give our patrons an enjoyable experience. We want to create a relaxed environment with knowledgeable staff who make the diners feel at ease."
by Joanna Wood
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 9-15 August 2001