Kerb’s Seven Dials Market, the latest in a string of new food courts opening in London, has revealed the names of its two headline restaurants: Nanban, the Brixton “Japanese soul food” spot from MasterChef winner Tim Anderson and Strozzapreti, a fresh pasta restaurant from the founders of Franco Manca, the chain pizzeria. Both will join a host of other fast casual operators when the market opens in September.
The original Franco Manca team, including co-founders “sourdough visionary,” Bridget Hugo, “pasta guru,” Andrea Beccaceci, and “rebel restaurateur,” Giuseppe Mascoli, appear poised to do to fresh pasta what they did to Neapolitan pizza in Brixton a decade a ago: mainstream it, maybe with a chain, that seeks to avoid what conventional chains tend to do. Like with Franco Manca, which now has 36 branches across London, they talk about high-quality ingredients, seasonality, and affordability.
At Kerb’s new food market, Strozzapreti will offer a three-course menu of simple antipasti and “twists” on classic Italian puddings, with fresh pasta made from durum flour and organic English spelt at the core of the offering. Pappardelle with rabbit ragu and Marsala livers will join the tradition-eschewing (no dairy with seafood) mussels and pecorino spaghetti with datterini gialli.
Hugo said: “Tasting and designing is the most creative and fun part of producing food and I’ve taken a lot of inspiration working with Beccaceci and Mascoli to establish these entirely new pasta dishes.
“After a decade working in Italian cooking, I am still always so impressed with how Italians seem to know better than anyone what good ingredients taste like and how to make them work in a simple and healthy way.”
Elsewhere, 2011 MasterChef winner Tim Anderson, will open his second outpost of Nanban, the much-loved, pan-global ramen restaurant from Brixton. Anderson says he’s inspired by from Afro-Caribbean, Latin American, Middle Eastern cuisines.
Dishes will include: dry lamb curry ramen with padron peppers, tea-picked egg, and Montgomery cheddar. Nanban Central will serve two new weekly dishes using rotating seasonal ingredients; and Market hiyashi chūka, a cold noodle salad.
Anderson said: “With Nanban first starting off as a pop-up through to our Brixton Market restaurant, I’m extremely proud to be bringing our unique, eclectic flavours to London’s newest market in the heart of the city.
“At Nanban we celebrate Japanese food mixed with international flavours and seasonal ingredients, so I’m very excited to see what we come up with when being surrounded by the inspiring street food traders and chefs and Cucumber Alley’s fresh produce.”
Seven Dials Market says it will occupy the “space between street food and full-service restaurant experience.” The two restaurants join other traders already announced: Club Mexicana, Yum Bun, INK, Square Root, Rice Guys and the “world’s first cheese conveyer belt”, Pick & Cheese.