Minute on the Clock – Monika Linton

27 July 2012 by
Minute on the Clock – Monika Linton

Monika Linton is the co-owner of Spanish restaurant group Brindisa Tapas Kitchen, which is set to launch its fourth restaurant, Tramontana Brindisa, in Shoreditch next month. She spoke to Kerstin Kühn

What will the new restaurant be about?
We want to focus on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, which goes all the way from Catalonia to Almeria. We will celebrate the region's food, which has one of the healthiest diets in Spain with lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as its wines.

What does Tramontana refer to?
It's one of the most important winds on the Catalan coast, which is very strong and typical of the Mediterranean. It's also the name of a mountain on Majorca.

What will the interior be like?
We've taken over the site that used to be vegan restaurant Saf and structurally we're not changing very much. We're putting in a new kitchen but are keeping the bar area at the front and the central open kitchen. In terms of the interior, we're trying to evoke the Mediterranean coast with lots of colour, pots and paella pans and an abundance of fruit and vegetables.

What about the menu?
We haven't devised specific dishes yet but the menu will be very much about the area, too. I really liked what Saf was about and our menu will be balanced and about healthy eating. We'll have a big focus on fruit and vegetables and there'll be lots of seafood, rice and pasta dishes.

Do you have plans to open any more restaurants?
There's no plan not to and if the right site came up at the right time then we wouldn't say no. But we don't want to expand massively or too fast, and the whole growth of the company, including the wholesale business, has to be organic, as otherwise the risk of diluting the offer and it becoming a race is too high.

How do you think Spanish cuisine in the UK has developed over recent years?
It is far better understood now than it was back in 1988 when I first launched the business. The first 10 years were really hard work and it was almost impossible to sell Spanish produce. Now the market has lots of restaurants and distributors and there's a product for every pocket.

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