London’s favourite Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes (Taberna do Mercado and once upon a time Viajante) has been talking about launching a fine dining supper club for some time (a revival of his Loft Project of sorts). Now it seems the dream has finally come to fruition with the arrival of a 14-seater, tasting menu-only dining experience in Shoreditch on the former site of Hostem on 3 April.
MÃ£os (meaning ‘hands’ in Portuguese) is a joint venture between Mendes and Hostem’s James Brown and will “provide a gastronomic experience for a discerning clientele” for £125 a head, not including drinks.
The pair has kept the opening pretty quiet and details are still a little thin, but according to public records with Tower Hamlets Council the new business is not described as a restaurant: “The reason the applicant has not called the business a restaurant is because they feel that it is more unique.” At first MÃ£os will only be open to those who have pre-booked, however “the experience is intended to be put out to a wider audience in approximately 6 months”.
Mendes is also executive chef of Marylebone’s stunningly refurbished former-firehouse-turned-hotel The Chiltern Firehouse (although how much time he spends in its open kitchen, what with his other commitments, is unknown). He tried to revive Viajante in a new east London location back in 2016 but the crowdfunding campaign wasn’t able to meet its target. Last year Mendes announced his involvement in Hackney’s Mare Street Market (a Barworks project) but subsequently pulled out of the restaurant, café and deli. TV chef and writer Gizzi Erskine will take his place.