Noble Rot, one of London’s essential restaurants and best wine bars, will open its second site in the city. Noble Rot Soho will take over the site vacated by the politico’s favourite Hungarian restaurant Gay Hussar, on Greek Street, in Spring 2020.
Noble Rot, owned by Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew, has been an unmitigated success since it opened in November 2015 on Lambs Conduit Street, in Bloomsbury. With early input and investment from the celebrated chef-restaurateur Stephen Harris of the Michelin-starred Sportsman in Kent, the menu by head chef Paul Weaver has always given a nod to coastal British produce, while simultaneously maintaining a foothold in the indefatigable comfort of Anglo-French classics.
Of the new restaurant, Keeling and Andrew said:
The menu, from chef Paul Weaver with, as before, The Sportsman’s Stephen Harris, will include subtle references to The Gay Hussar’s glory days. We’ll be creating a buzzing and atmospheric new restaurant that’s at the forefront of London’s culinary scene without losing sight of its rackety and sometimes scandalous past.
Noble Rot is among a select group of restaurants to have remained on the London 38 since 2016. The original blurb remains accurate three years on:
“In an industry with a tendency to launch “concepts” and experiences guided by zeitgeists, the opening of an actual restaurant is oddly novel. Noble Rot in Bloomsbury is young, confident, and romantic: It has it. Seasonal British food, like slipsole in seaweed butter or smoked eel in gazpacho, is cooked by Paul Weaver under the notional guidance of the Sportsman’s Stephen Harris. Most importantly, that food never plays second fiddle to one of the most interesting wine lists in town.”
Keeling, a former music A&R and the man credited with discovering Cold Play, founded the Noble Rot brand with Andrew, now a master of wine, in 2013 — at that stage in the form of an irreverent food and wine journal, which has just published its 21st issue. In late 2017, the duo launched the wine import business, Keeling Andrew & Co.
The Gay Hussar, a restaurant created by the late Swiss-Welsh restaurateur, Victor Sassie, closed, after 65 years, in the summer of 2018. Its most famous patrons included broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, Private Eye founder and journalist Richard Ingrams, and the writer T. S. Eliot. Its most famous tale — at least in recent history — is the one which states that it was there that a young Labourite called Tony Blair was persuaded to run for parliament in 1982. Gordon Brown, Blair’s long-serving number two, was another loyal patron.
The duo also played a role in the creation of the wine list at Tomos Parry’s Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant Brat.
Check back for further details soon.