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 Karlos Ponte (until 12th November), the chef behind Copenhagen’s Taller, who, in between planning his second restaurant in the Danish capital, has generously put aside five days to wow us with his Venezuelan dishes in London. Then there’s Iñaki Bolumburu (15th-26th), who’s back by popular demand after a successful residency here earlier in the year. He cut his teeth at places like Mugaritz, Pure C and Noma – you know, just a few world-famous two and three starred Michelin restaurants – and promises two weeks of Basque-inspired creations that include mussel croquetas with seaweed and scallop, radish & olive escabeche. He’ll be followed by Mexico’s Moyuelo, bringing their fresh spin on local favourites to the table.
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 East Coast burger behemoth, Lucky Buns, who have taken their first tentative steps across the pond with a neon-soaked, pop-up burger beach bar, with outlandish flavour combos and incredible cocktails. It’s like getting a taste of California…
… in a less 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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