Carousel – the restaurant famous for perpetually reinventing itself with a new guest residency in the kitchen every few weeks – has reinvented its entire existence…
Saying goodbye to their trusty old digs in Marylebone and hello to Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, Carousel co-founders Ollie & Ed Templeton have chosen a buzzier location for Carousel’s new HQ – one that takes up a whopping three townhouses worth of space. And nestled inside it is their first ever wine bar, featuring a menu of seasonal snacks and small plates from chef Ollie accompanying a thoughtfully chosen list of lively, minimal intervention wines and cocktails.
The wine bar’s the first thing that you’ll see as you approach the venue, with giant floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the street and spill light onto the colourful terrazzo stone floor, the wooden furnishings and the long polished concrete bar. Ollie’s menu is a sort of ‘best-of’ Carousel: he’s recreated dishes from the hundreds of different food cultures, inspiring chefs and creative collaborations that he’s seen come and go over the years and somehow – like a really difficult jigsaw – made them all fit together. So you can get everything from a maitake tempura with mushroom broth (inspired by Ollie’s time in the kitchen with Yuji Tani of HOUSE in Tokyo & Brooklyn) as well as grilled mackerel flatbread dish, which draws on a revelatory sandwich he discovered at a Berlin flea market.
Heading deeper inside you’ll find the residency space (directly behind the wine bar) where Carousel’s customary Who’s Who of cutting-edge international culinary talent will be juggling the pans for a week or two at a time. Hopping on the Carousel this month is Fadi Kattan, who brings us some truly excellent modern Palestinian cuisine ahead of his solo Notting Hill restaurant opening, Akub (3rd – 7th May). Then, we’ll see Parisian chef Thomas Coupeau deliver an imaginative, seafood-driven menu from his former restaurant Carbón (10th – 14th May). And finally, Haikara (yes, just ‘Haikara’. He’s like Cher.) will be wrapping up the month with some Franco-Japanese izakaya dishes (17th – 21st May).
But the fun doesn’t end there, because upstairs there’s an event and workshop space for up to 150 guests and a private dining room; while next door to the main venue is a smaller incubator-style space designed for hosting more casual, longer-term residencies, called No. 23. Currently in residence is the Indian brand Goila Butter Chicken, who have dedicated their entire restaurant to perfecting one simple curry – because when a recipe works, why change it? Which is rather like Carousel, itself…
… in a roundabout way.
NOTE: Carousel’s wine bar is open Tues-Sat 12-11pm and Sun 12-5pm for walk-ins and bookings, with guest dinners Tues-Sat at 7pm (which you need to pre-book for). You can see who’s on the pans, and book tickets, HERE.
Carousel | 19-23 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RL
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