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. This month, they’ve got Pablo Lagrange from La Textil in Barcelona (18th – 22nd Jan) returning with his experimental dishes using ash, cold smoke and colour; the inimitable Romy Gill MBE (25th – 29th Jan) with her fusion of West Bengali and West Country flavours; and a special Burns Night celebration with not one but three visiting Scottish chefs.
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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