The owners of essential London restaurant The Wolseley, Corbin and King, have announced that Manzi’s — the group’s significant new seafood restaurant on Soho Square — will open by the end of May. In an email this morning, co-founder Jeremy King confirmed that the restaurant would be fully pescatarian, with fish, seafood, and a series of vegetarian and vegan options alongside.
“It really is a remarkable building to find in the middle of Soho and not only is similar in size to Brasserie Zédel (over two floors) but is blessed with windows on both sides of the Dining Room for great light and this very brightness and airiness was very influential in determining it to be a pescatarian restaurant,” King wrote.
He also praised the often maligned City of Westminster Planning Committee and other Councillors who “had the vision to approve our application and will help transform a rather tricky bit of a ‘no go’ area into an attractive thoroughfare. My hats off to them and everything they are doing to keep Soho vibrant and unique.”
He described the current Soho restaurantscape with optimism, writing that Corbin and King were “delighted by the rising interest from our near neighbours. With [Noble Rot’s] resurrection of Gay Hussar pending I really like the way Soho is developing.”
Elsewhere, Corbin and King has two other new restaurant openings in the pipeline for which King provided a status update. First, the long-planned site in the City of London, on King William Street, which will draw heavily on both the original Wolseley and its sister restaurant, The Delaunay in Covent Garden, but will be given a new name: “A wonderful building known as the ‘Gateway to the City’ or more prosaically the old House of Fraser store!” King wrote.
He describes it as “a beautiful great room but sadly, unlike the Wolseley, all the original internal architectural features have gone — so we are going to effectively reinstate!” That restaurant, he said, would probably not open before next year.
Lastly, King confirmed the location for the group’s unnamed restaurant on Notting Hill Gate, announced in the wake of closing Islington stalwart Bellanger last year. He said the group was unsure whether this would come before or after the project in the City, but suggested that it would not be this year. For the first time, King shared that the restaurant would open on the north side of Notting Hill by the western Tube exit, which is the old Royal Bank of Scotland building between Pembridge Road and Pembridge Gardens.
Elsewhere, King — a candid contributor to the Brexit debate from within the restaurant industry over the last three years — used his latest dispatch to ruminate over the political situation as it is now. He wrote: “I have not enjoyed the three years plus since that ludicrous vote because it has been the showroom for the worst of British traits — moaning and inertia. When we moan we achieve nothing but negativity and that has been the resort of so many. So hats off to those who have complained rather than moaned through demonstration and more.”
From there, he pivoted with a little more optimism: “Now we have an excellent opportunity to replace the moaning with something we really are rather good at — confronting the certain rather than the possible. We really are rather good in adversity,” King said.
But, and in keeping with his comments in response to the government’s immigration plans a fortnight ago, he expressed dismay at the Home Office’s ambitions.
“We are still going to have to do some complaining about Ms Priti Patel who is single handed[ly] destroying the employment structure of the country with her plans to curb immigration.
“She fails to understand that businesses like Corbin & King absolutely depend on immigration. We have a workforce that is 80% non-British and drawn from 63 different countries — of course our current workforce are secure as long as they register but I have no idea where the replacements for the majority of any leavers will come from… unless there is a change in policy it certainly won’t be from ‘Perma-smirky’ Patel’s points system.”