Chris Deeney and Luca Longobardi are opening their second restaurant in a year. Southam Street opened on Golborne in Notting Hill Road on 28 October, after having initially been scheduled in September. The restaurant is set over three floors, with a focus on grilling downstairs: both a robata grill and a Big Green Egg, regarded as the elite apparatus for cooking with fire, will be used to cook meat, fish and vegetables and incorporate a number of international grilling techniques. Upstairs, by contrast, will have a raw bar and will be overseen by an unnamed “sushi master”, with a focus on Nikkei — the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. An adjoining sake room is being planned for the same floor.
On the second floor there’ll be a
champagne bar democratically exhibiting wines from both Grand Marque houses — the big names — and smaller, artisanal producers. Less democratically perhaps, there’ll be an opportunity for membership attached to this area of the new restaurant Tequila and mezcal bar.
In January 108 Garage brought to Notting Hill a restaurant that seemed in tune with the London restaurant industry’s advances: clever, seasonal cooking in a very purposefully distressed, low-lit dining room. A new informality was embraced. The restaurant received a series of favourable reviews, including this one — not only because of its novelty in west London — and, according to the announcement, has been described as “a breath of fresh air” by The Fat Duck’s Heston Blumenthal.
Deeney and Longobardi were acquainted after the latter posted an advert for a chef on Gumtree. Deeney, who is originally from Manchester, has previously worked at Hambleton Hall as well as under Nuno Mendes at Viajante and with Philip Howard when he ran The Square. Longobardi meanwhile was known as the “mafia’s banker,” having been wrongly accused of money laundering in the U.S. when working as an investment banker. He wound up on Interpol’s ‘most wanted’ list and was sent to a maximum security prison in Brazil. The “mafia’s banker” moniker would appear to still be with him.
The duo also announced today that they plan to open a third site, Home Noir — a space that “combines a members’ club with 20 loft apartments, a restaurant, clubhouse and roof deck.” It will, they say, also “be the first hospitality project in the world to raise its capital via cryptocurrency, using an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).”