My Million Pound Menu winners to open in Covent Garden

Lee Johnson and Sinead Campbell, winners of BBC Two’s My Million Pound Menu, will open a restaurant in London.

The pair found intrigue and hope after proposing their Filipino street-food concept, Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen, to judges on the Beeb’s show.

It will now open at Kerb’s indoor food market at Seven Dials in Covent Garden on May 17.

Seven Dials Market is the first permanent home for Kerb, which has in the past found homes in the likes of London Bridge and King’s Cross.

Johnson and Campbell use the foundations of Filipino cuisine – using bold flavours such as vinegar, star anise, bay, garlic, ube (purple yam), coconut, mango and calamansi (the citrus fruit native to the Philippines) – at their restaurant, but add their own twist, creating a slightly more accessible version.

Dishes include lechon kawali, which is crispy pork belly with steamed jasmine rice, sesame bean salad, pickled cucumbers and coriander, fish sauce and ginger dressing; adobo-glazed cauliflower served with lime aïoli, spring onion, coriander, chilli, nigella seeds and lime; and crispy pata pancakes served with atchara (traditional pickled vegetables), mang tomas (pork liver) sauce, chicharron, coriander, lime, spring onion and chilli.

Johnson, who grew up in Manilla, and Campbell, from Ireland, first joined forces in 2014 having met as art students. Their food truck business, BBQ Dreamz, saw roaring trade, and their first permanent fixture, which launched in 2019 on Hackney Road, has continued their success.

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