The huge, built-to-be-iconic postmodern brick building in East London that was once The Curtain Hotel has now changed hands and become Mondrian Shoreditch, opening with the world’s fifth – but London’s first – BiBo restaurant on the ground floor.
For those who aren’t au fait with the comings and goings of the Andalusian dining scene – and shame on you guys – BiBo comes to us from chef Dani García, who scored three Michelin Stars with his self-named restaurant in the southern Spanish region. After that, he decided to open his first BiBo restaurant, a brasserie-meets-tapas bar concept which has gone from strength to strength and now resulted in this first London outpost (which is also García’s first in the UK).
Inside, it’s got a relaxed, modern Spanish countryside vibe, with clay walls, light oak floors, and a burnt-red tile bar all flooded with plenty of natural light. That bar is kind of the centrepiece of the restaurant, and it’s built around a huge cartwheel-sized globe light housed in a giant, diamond-shaped cage of red spokes. Then, just outside, there’s a small courtyard filled with greenery, and conveniently covered in a retractable glass roof.
The menu features tried-and-tested dishes from both Garcia’s other BiBo branches and his showstopper fine-dining restaurant. You can find everything from his famed oxtail brioche (a pulled oxtail brioche sandwich with thin mushroom slices) to plates of raw, delicate corvina fish with yellow pepper sauce; while less tapas-y / more brasserie-y sized offerings include a whole deep-fried sea bass, a classic lobster paella and a Txuleta steak that comes from Basque dairy cows (considered by some to be the finest steaks on earth).
To drink you’ll find a range of cocktails at the bar – the Mrs Violet comes in an elegantly tall and precariously slender glass filled with gin, elderberry syrup and shiso leaves, all topped with a brittle layer of violet caramel, while the Smoked Pumpkin Whisky Sour is theatrically served inside a smoke-filled glass dome. On top of that there’s a long list of Old World wines, and while they’re not cheap, there are at least several available by the glass.
And the kicker? If you head here for breakfast, you can enjoy it up on the roof of the hotel at Altitude at The Curtain, a spot usually reserved for patrons of The Curtain members’ club.
It’s the height of sophistication.
NOTE: BiBo is open daily, 12-11pm. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website HERE.
BiBo | 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 4PJ
While you’re in the neighbourhood… here are the best bars in Shoreditch