Update 28.2.18: This article originally stated that the partnership was between Hostem Limited and Nuno Mendes, per the application from June 2017. It is now a partnership between Nuno Mendes and James Brown, of Hostem Limited.
Eater has also been contacted by representatives of Mãos who say that the restaurant is no longer explicitly aiming to win a Michelin star.
Portuguese chef, Nuno Mendes, is quietly planning to open a 14-seater ‘secret’ “kitchen, table and wine room,” called Mãos (meaning “hands” in Portuguese) above what was the high-end clothes shop Hostem on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. Although there has been no publicity around the project at all, Eater understands that the chef-restaurateur is due to open at the location on Tuesday 3 April and will serve a brand of modern European cuisine.
Public records with Tower Hamlets Council also indicate that Mendes and Hostem’s James Brown applied for an alcohol license at the premises last June. Literature states that the project (formerly known as a supper club) is “a joint venture...would provide a gastronomic experience for a discerning clientele.” Hostem recently relocated from its premises on Redchurch Street to Old Nichol Street, close by. The building is currently under refurbishment, with the facade draped in blue plastic covers.
Details listed state the cost of attending the dining room — lasting approximately four hours, evenings only — will be £150 per head; Mãos is no longer planning to offer a £75 wine flight, but the price of drinks will be in addition to the set menu.
It says that “the aim is for the supper club to achieve a Michelin star.” Mãos will be available only to those who have pre-booked.
Information listed with Tower Hamlets Council also states that “the experience is intended to be put out to a wider audience in approximately 6 months. The reason the applicant has not called the business a restaurant is because they feel that it is more unique.”
Mendes last year curated and oversaw the installation of a number of restaurant and streetfood tenants at The Kitchens in Spitalfields; he also engaged in and subsequently pulled out of a restaurant project called Mare Street Market in Hackney. At the end of 2017, he posted a frank message to Instagram about the troubles he and his team had faced in keeping his flagship Portuguese restaurant brand — Taberna do Mercado — open during what he called “a very difficult year for hospitality.”
Mendes is also the executive head chef at Marylebone’s celebrity haunt Chiltern Firehouse. Over the years he has been involved in a number of important restaurants in the capital: first, following a stint working at Ferran Adria’s world-famous Catalan restaurant elBulli, he opened Bacchus, on Hoxton Street. Following that, the chef launched a supper club at his home in Dalston, called The Loft Project — a dining series that showcased the likes of James Lowe and Issac McHale long before they launched their restaurants, Lyle’s and The Clove Club, respectively. Mendes’ first major London restaurant, Viajante, opened in Bethnal Green Town Hall in 2010; it closed in 2014.
The opening hours are Tuesday — Saturday 7pm to 11pm (closed Sunday and Monday.)