TikTok star with kitchen pedigree Thomas Straker has renamed and relocated his debut London restaurant — before it has even opened.
Acre, slated for Queen’s Park since 2018, is no more; Straker’s, on Notting Hill’s Golborne Road, will open this June, as reported by the Evening Standard. It’s easier to capitalise on name recognition with nearly 200,000 recipe hounds per platform hanging on TikToks and Reels for simple but, often, quietly, very “modern London ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant” dishes.
Straker’s strapline for this approach to cooking is “food that you want to eat,” and he will hope that will manifest in west London with dishes like grilled flatbreads with vesuvio tomatoes and anchovies; cod’s roe and radish; lamb shoulder with salsa verde; and potato gnocchi with burnt butter, lemon, and Parmesan. Now that’s what I call a London neighbourhood restaurant from 2017 onward — all bolstered by a list majoring on low intervention wines.
The chef’s journey from TikTok back into the restaurant kitchen — albeit one he owns, not one that employs him — runs contrary to the trajectory of chefs that found a willing audience on hours they chose during COVID-19 lockdowns and decided not to return to restaurant life. He previously worked at two Michelin-starred kitchens in the city: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Phil Howard’s Elystan Street.
More soon on Straker’s.