One of London’s most creative and singular chefs, Leandro Carreira, will open a new Portuguese taberna in Soho in April, in partnership with Alex Hunter of Bonnie Gull Fitzrovia and The Sea, The Sea on Pavilion Road, where Carreira is executive chef.
Claro will follow Carreira’s by now honed approach: using Portuguese flavours, traditions, and processes as a source of thoughtful improvisation, with a focus on fermentation, clean, razor-edged flavours, and a respect for product that has occasionally verged on asceticism. He has developed a more playful approach at The Sea, The Sea than at Londrino, his Bermondsey restaurant that closed last year and occasioned at times bewildered criticism, with sandus, a signature seaweed egg cake, and the expected focus on seafood coming through at Claro with dishes like pork with almonds and chilli; mackerel with seaweed butter; his beloved Prego steak sandwich, and, diners will hope, the extraordinary ice creams that became a hallmark in SE1.
Hunter is fresh from closing Bonnie Gull’s Soho seafood shack, which Claro will replace at 22 Bateman Street, with the duo consolidating their partnership from The Sea, The Sea. With 26 covers, a curt wine list, and standing tables alongside an open kitchen, Carreira — and the city — will hope that Londrino’s potential can be realised in a new, freer form.