Update. You can now email your reservation requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org and the reservations phone line opens on June 6. The restaurant opens mid-June.
Twitter was all of a flutter just before the weekend when the news broke that Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan was wending his way into town from his base in Cartmel, Cumbria to open a restaurant. Seems that Rogan's taken the last two years of a lease on the site of the old Michael Moore restaurant at 19 Blandford Street, W1. It's a tiny space - room for just 35 covers - so if it is a success, expect a real bunfight for seats when it opens mid June.
So why's this story of concern to Londoners? Well, Rogan is one of Britain's pre-eminent molecular gastronomists. You may remember L'Enclume featuring on recent foodie TV fodder The Trip with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, who memorably described Rogan's appetiser thus; 'The consistency is of snot, but it tastes great!' A quick glance at the current menu at L'Enclume includes Carrot sacks with juniper, fried cake and cress as well as Vintage potatoes in onion ashes, whey sauce and wood sorrel. The Telegraph's then-critic Jasper Gerard called L'Enclume 'by some distance, Britain's most exciting restaurant' while Giles Coren said; 'Love is not strong enough, however, to describe what I felt about L'Enclume in Cartmel, a restaurant that I would eagerly promise to honour and obey as well.'
Notably, it won't actually be Rogan in the kitchen at the new London outpost. The head chef of the London restaurant will be Ben Spalding, aged 25, who has recently been working alongside Rogan at L’Enclume in anticipation of the London opening. Previously he has worked in Gothenberg, Sweden, at Restaurant Lipp, and at L’Autre Pied and Rhodes W1 in London
Rogan's been looking for an opening in London for a while, so this two-year spot will suit him down to the ground as a good way to test whether there's an appetite for his style of cooking here. Frankly we can't wait and will keep you posted on opening dates when we hear about them.