Every month a string of exciting new restaurants arrive in London. This August, there are three restaurants that have caught our attention.
‘Nordic Smokehouse’ restaurant and bar, Rök, opened on Curtain Road this August. Taking over the site of an old east London café, the owners have turned the space into a 40-cover restaurant and bar open for lunch, dinner and late night drinks with a downstairs cocktail bar to follow.
Rök, which means ‘smoke’ in Swedish, uses techniques such as brining, pickling and smoking, to prepare top quality British ingredients. The menu is made up mainly of smoked meat dishes, cures, pickles and vegetable dishes commonly found on tables across Northern Europe.
Meats are supplied by British charcutiers Cobble Lane Cured in Islington, and are cooked at Rök on a custom built, charcoal fuelled BBQ – the centrepiece of the kitchen. Matt Young (formerly of Ollie Dabbous’s Barnyard and Aveqia) leads the team of chefs.
As well as BBQ meats expect pickles and ferments like dill pickle and seasonal wild mushrooms.
Tonkotsu has opened its fifth restaurant in Bankside this month. Their latest addition will offer some new dishes such as mazesoba, a dish made up of hick noodles, intense broth, chili pork mince, pork belly and a raw egg, to be stirred in with Clam Sakamushi, which is clams and shimeji mushrooms blanched in sake.
Plus they’ll be adding a new range of house cocktails too:
– Pure Malt Manhattan – Nikka whisky, Cocchi vermouth, bitters
– Grey Goose Vodka Martini – GG vodka, Martini Extra Dry
– Negroni – Tanqueray, Martini rosso, Campari
– Japanese Mac – Nikka whisky, Umeshu, Stone’s ginger wine
– My Friend Martin – Tanqueray, Chase elderflower, Earl grey tea, Cardamon bitters, Fever Tree tonic
– Penicillico – El Jimador tequila, Gusano rojo mezcal, Stone’s ginger wine, Fever Tree ginger ale
With Frida Kahlo staring down from the wall, and painted skulls from the Day of the Dead festival watching over the bar, it can mean only one thing — Mexican food.
The Timorous Beasties studio have made an beautiful contribution to the décor with some excellent hand-painted wallpaper. Sections of brickwork have been distressed, poor things, with the terracotta colour poking through the remnants of a white wash. Flashes of colour have been supplied by bespoke fabrics from Matthew Williamson and the studio of the absolutely fabulous French designer Christian Lacroix.
Tacos are the house speciality at Molé, and their classic recipes will be joined by some experimental numbers such as slow cooked pork belly with pickled watermelon and sweet miso. All the tacos are gluten-free, as is 80% of the menu. A street food fave called ‘antichucos’ (marinated fish skewers to the uninitiated) also catch the eye, plus larger dishes including a 16-hour braised chipotle beef short rib.