Welcome to Rondo La Cave, a natural wine bar & restaurant at which no two visits are ever the same.
It’s an incubator for various restaurant concepts and up-and-coming chefs keen to test the waters for their ideas – a bit like Carousel. A permanent space for pop ups, if you will, housed in the moody underground space beneath Rondo restaurant in the Hoxton Hotel (the one in Holborn, confusingly).
But while the menus and the kitchen staff will be flitting in and out, the wine bar’s going to remain steadfastly unaltered…
In fact, as you head down into the subterranean venue, the first thing you’ll see will be their impressive bottle shop, stacked with modern grape hooch from all low intervention, natural, small-growers. And there is a lot. In fact, they claim to have “the largest selection of bubbly in the city”. Heading beyond that and into the restaurant proper, the interior is a stripped back affair of bare brick and unvarnished timber, so as not to stamp any overbearing identity on the space, and allow it to act as a sort of blank canvas.
The first residency cued up is from chef Adam Rawson, with his Anglo-Peruvian concept Cantina Valentina. In case you’ve never heard of him, he won Chef of the Year at the Young British Foodies awards earlier this year, and has worked with the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Nuno Mendes, Claude Bosi, and many more. He’s the real deal.
After travelling across Peru for a few months (as well as being head chef at Pachamama) he’s pouring all that know-how into dishes like a hearty Parihuela crab bisque with fried soft shell and oca roots; some bracingly zesty passion fruit & sea trout ceviche with aji amarillo; a traditional coal-roasted root vegetable ‘pachamanca’ cooked in banana leaf; and some luscious sweet potato doughnuts with aji honey.
After two months Rawson will then make way for another, as-of-yet-undisclosed chef to tame the stoves – and if there’s ever a moment between residencies while the next kitchen is set up, then you can expect a selection of London-made charcuteries and whatnot, from places like Crown & Queue in Southwark, or Wildes Cheese in Tottenham.
Which will probably go well with the wine.
NOTE: Rondo La Cave is open Tues-Sat, 5pm-12.30am. You can make a booking, and check out the current menu at their website right HERE.
Rondo La Cave | Underneath The Hoxton, 199-206 High Holborn, WC1V 7BD
Like the idea? Check out Carousel…