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 place has now been taken over by Chet’s, which comes to us from chef Kris Yenbamroong – he runs a cult Thai restaurant in LA called NIGHT + MARKET, and here he’s decided to create something that combines influences from both those places. American comfort food, with Thai flavours. Call it fusion if it makes you happy. On the menu, you’ll find the likes of fried chicken with red-eye chilli dip, a wedge salad with candied pork jowl, and chiang rai hotdogs with fried shallots.
He’ll be sticking around for four months (with plans for a permanent joint after that in early autumn). But even between chefs, Rondo still delivers – 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
Main image: Haydon Perrior
Like the idea? Check out Carousel…