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Scandi Smoked Meat Restaurant Goes Plant-Based for Central London Debut

Rok will open in Soho; the brand will cease trading at The Kitchens in Spitalfields

Rök’s latest opening will focus more on plant-based dishes

Rök has announced the opening of their first central London restaurant in Soho: The Scandinavian-influenced brand will open its third permanent site in the summer of this year. It will be the latest opening from co-founders Charles Bakker, Frida Lindmark and Matt Young, the team behind Rök Shoreditch and Islington.

Rök was also one of the key members of the recently opened half-way pop-up restaurant collective at The Kitchens in Spitalfields. The group has announced that it will cease trading there at the end of this month “in order to focus efforts on the new opening.”

At the new site in Soho, the menu will mark a departure from the smoked meat dishes for which Rök has become known. Instead, they say, the new menu “will reflect a greater emphasis on plant based and vegetable centric dishes.”

About the new opening, Matt Young said that although the brand might now be classed as a mini-chain, he and the team tries to ensure that each site has a point of difference.

“We try to approach every site with a unique mindset and this will be no different for our new central London site. At Rök Soho we really want to elevate the preservation techniques in order to develop a new and exciting offer that has the Rök hallmarks, but is also relevant to the way that people want to eat in this area. Our menu has always been influenced by dishes and ingredients from Scandinavia and we feel this is the right time to introduce some of the unique ingredients from across the region which are mostly absent from menus in London.”

Charles Bakker, Frida Lindmark and Matt Young, Rök’s owners

In line with the group’s New Nordic style, Rök Soho will offer a selection of house made ingredients — including cultured dairy products and fermented probiotic beverages. And, executive chef Matt Young’s menu will feature a section dedicated to fermented and pickled dishes which will be produced in a basement preservation cellar.

The team has also said it will introduce a range of non-alcoholic and low ABV house meads (Nordic-style honey brew) and drinking vinegars, which have been developed in partnership with “cocktail guru” and Rök collaborator Matt Whiley.