This storming little Pan-Asian pop-up from Scott Hallsworth (founder of Kurobuta) and Phar Shaweewan finds a permanent home in Soho’s Frith Street, in what was once the original Barrafina premises. Freak Scene fuses Japanese, Singaporean and Malay cooking, as well as adding some South American inspiration in the form of Miso-grilled black cod tacos with sushi rice and scorched red chilli (pictured).
Following Scott’s departure from Kurobuta he began Freak Scene as a Clerkenwell-based pop-up in July last year, inspired by his experience of south east Asian cooking. The new permanent base (opening 29 March) will take its cue from bustling Singaporean hawker centres.
Several of Scott’s signature Freak Scene dishes will make the move from Clerkenwell to Soho, including: Miso-grilled black cod tacos with sushi rice and scorched red chilli; Chilli crab and avocado wonton bombs; Chicken-fried chicken with peanut soy and cucumber pickles; and a Honey-hoisin grilled pork belly, mussels and chilli jam ssam wrap. New additions to the menu include a Foie gras croissant with star anise jus and Crispy nori cone with tea-smoked beef fillet, pickled onions and wasabi cream, along with Fermented Thai sausages and Pumpkin som tam with pomegranate.
Diners can sit on stools around the concrete bar and open kitchen, or grab a spot at the ledge circling the edge of the restaurant. For those who don’t wish to watch the chefs at work on the flaming robata grills, replays of the infamous Japanese gameshow Takeshi’s Castle will be projected onto the wall. In the summer months there will also be al-fresco dining available.
The restaurant takes its name from a song by 90s indie grunge band Dinosaur Jr., reflecting the eclectic soundtrack in the dining room. From the bar, guests can order from an irreverent drinks list including Scoby yeast-based cocktails with a rich umami hit; sake bombs; and such blends as (they cheekily, we say ickily-named) Wet Pussy – peach schnapps and vodka, with a twist of lemon and lime. A New World wine list is rounded out by a sake selection as well as flavoured shochu, 100% vegan Skinny Prosecco and yuzu-spiked Wild Beer.
To book email: email@example.com or phone 07561 394 497.