KOL, the highly anticipated debut restaurant from Noma Mexico chef Santiago Lastra, is set to open in March 2020, making its home in the historic heart of Marylebone.
Following more than a year of searching for the perfect location, Lastra and his team are excited to have received the keys to the 4,600ft, two-storey space, located in picturesque Seymour Street.
It is here where Lastra will bring the concept of KOL to life, a vision which has been several years in creation and will encapsulate the authentic influences of his native Mexico whilst showcasing the finest quality British ingredients.
KOL, taken from the Spanish word for cabbage (col), represents Lastra’s belief that the simplest things can be made extraordinary if treated with the care and attention they deserve.
Guests at KOL can expect a vibrant and innovative take on Mexican tradition, a culmination of ideas and techniques developed from extensive exploration of Mexico’s culinary hotspots and heritage.
Lastra has also dedicated the past two years to discovering the finest ingredients from small-scale and independent producers located across the British Isles. To include foraged delicacies from the woodlands of Kent, shellfish from the Scottish coastline, along with vegetables and herbs from a small-scale farm in Hertfordshire, every supplier has been selected with sustainability in mind.
A handful of integral ingredients have also been sourced by Santiago from Mexico, to include chocolate, spices and specialist corn. Santiago’s expert knowledge of rare Mexican ingredients was honed during the six months he spent immersed in the Noma Mexico pop-up, which he was appointed to project manage in 2017, alongside world-leading chef René Redzepi.
Dishes set for the KOL menu include; Langoustine tacos with sea buckthorn, Lamb leg tostada cured in gooseberries with walnut oil & fermented chilis, Kolrabi ceviche, and a dessert of Tamal served with corn-husk ice-cream. The menu will be market-led and change according to the seasons, offering diners the choice between a set menu or a la carte dishes.
The wine list will showcase predominately biodynamic wines sourced from Central and Eastern Europe. The house wine has been created exclusively for KOL by acclaimed Slovakian winemakers Slobodne. Lastra’s discovery and passion for wine from Eastern Europe follows his extensive travels across the globe, which has seen him cook in 27 countries in less than four years and earnt him the nickname, ‘The Nomadic chef’.
Designed by A-NRD studio, the homely interiors of KOL will reflect the vibrant colour palate of the rural Mexican landscapes, villages and homes where Santiago has spent time researching and refining his craft, with notes of Nordic minimalism.
The first floor will house KOL’s 56-cover dining room and state-of-the-art open kitchen, located in the centre of the room. The kitchen will comprise of three exquisitely crafted islands, positioned around a towering chimney hearth and seamlessly integrated into the main dining space.
A tortilla station complete with a traditional comal grill will see Santiago and team demonstrate the lost art and sleight of hand required to create the mother of Mexican delicacies.
A specialist mezcal bar, Mezcaleria, will be located on the lower ground floor, and will serve extensive list of artisan mezcals and rare agave spirits, which will be on offer alongside a selection of cocktails. The bar will be open for walk-ins, as well as for diners to enjoy a pre or post dinner drink.
Adjacent to the bar will be KOL’s 20-cover chef’s table. This private dining experience, boasting large windows looking through to the restaurant’s second kitchen, will allow guests to enjoy front row views of the chefs at work.
Image credit: Haydon Perrior