Simon Rogan returns to London with 8-seater restaurant Aulis

Simon Rogan returned to London this week to launch Aulis, an eight-seater chef’s table which mirrors his development kitchen Aulis at the restaurateur’s flagship Cartmel restaurant-with-rooms L’Enclume. Readers may also remember Aulis was the name of the development kitchen and chef’s table at Fera at Claridge’s. Plans are also still underway to relaunch Roganic – Rogan’s 2011-2013 pop-up – in Marylebone in December.

This latest London incarnation of Aulis is in a secret central London location which is a development kitchen by day and restaurant by night. Diners will be given the restaurant’s address once their place a the eight-seater chef’s table is confirmed.

At £250 pp, a seat at the eight-seater table ain’t cheap, but guests will get the chance to try dishes before they appear on the Roganic menu. The tasting menu is paired with matching wines. To book email:

Rogan has said that “Aulis is an integral part” of his Lake District operations and “it will be no different in London”. Adding that: “Aulis London can give our customers a really up close and personal insight into how we operate. We are going to have a lot of fun there.”

Working alongside Rogan at Aulis London is chef Rafael Cagali, previously of The Fat Duck and Fera at Claridge’, and head of development Harry Guy, who trained at Saison in San Francisco and was the winner of the 2016 Roux Scholarship.

Aulis marks Rogan’s return to London after he left Claridge’s at the end of April this year, leaving his protégé Matt Starling at the helm of Fera. The restaurateur also pulled out of the French, his restaurant in Manchester’s Midland Hotel, last year. In both cases, he failed to replicate the critical and popular success of the Lake District restaurant he calls his “mother ship” – L’Enclume in Cartmel, praised in last year’s Harden’s Survey as “an astonishing, clever, occasionally challenging, and brilliant” experience.

His company Umbel says Rogan will now refocus on his own independent restaurants following a “farm-to-plate” formula using produce supplied by the Lake District farm he established in 2009. His trajectory is not dis-similar to his predecessor at Claridge’s, Gordon Ramsay, who initially worked with famous-name hotels to gain big-city visibility, but now tends to operate independently from his own sites.

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