Just weeks after taking on the mantle of executive chef at Strand Dining Rooms, Mark Sargeant had announced he will open his first solo London venture. The restaurateur (who runs Rocksalt and The Smokehouse in Kent) also consults on the menu at the Plum + Spilt Milk in King’s Cross’s Great Northern Hotel.
Striking out of his own in the capital Sargeant will launch Morden & Lea in Wardour Street on 15 June. Reservations can now be made by calling 0203 764 2277 or by booking online at www.mordenandlea.com.
Named after 17th century cartographers Robert Morden and Philip Lea (the first to map out Soho), the brasserie will take over the former site of Chuen Cheng Ku. Daniel Mertl (ex-Chez Bruce, The Savoy and Le Gavroche) will head up the kitchen.
Downstairs is a 62-cover casual eating space for walk-ins while upstairs there is a dining room which takes reservations (yes, really!) with a prix-fixe dinner menu (£35pp) and set lunch. There will also be a cocktail bar and private dining room.
On the menu: Roast Goosnargh duck with garlic potatoes, roast peach, broccoli, almonds and chilli; grilled Cornish mullet with spelt, mussels and bok choy; pressed Oakchurch Farm strawberries with chantilly and pistachio crumble; set milk chocolate with hazelnuts, milk sorbet and coffee sherbet and Sargeant’s Gypsy Tart from the Plum + Spilt Milk.
Served alongside is a wine list of Old World and European bottles, a short cocktail menu, selection of craft beers and Redchurch Pale Ale on tap.