As if its name wasn’t enough of a hint, boredom is a word seldom used at Carousel, an exciting venue where the chefs rotate just as frequently as the menus.
Opened by cousins Ollie, Ed, Will and Anna Templeton, the Marylebone restaurant and gallery space takes the form of a multifaceted three-storey building, used for exhibitions, screenings and performances. Front and centre, however, is the ground floor dining room and al fresco courtyard that regularly host guest chefs in residence. When we recently visited,Erik Anderson and Jamie Malone, from Brut restaurant in Minneapolis, had taken charge of Carousel’s theatrical open kitchen. The duo’s modern approach to French cooking was seamlessly played out in well-crafted dishes such as wood pigeon and duck roulade with charcoal roasted shallots, and Norwegian cod with chanterelles and a ham and herb salad. Cocktails came courtesy of Ira Koplowitz from Bittercube, a creative Milwaukee-based bitters specialist, who added the infused mixtures to tinctures such as the ‘Green Isaac’s Special’, a gin, cherry bark vanilla bitters and sugar concoction presented in a gold coconut shell.
It’s all served amongst a convivial atmosphere, on rustic communal tables in a dining room flooded with light thanks to a series of floor-to-ceiling windows. Designed by Rise Design Studio, the minimalist setting of low hanging pendant lights and concrete flooring and pillars offers an industrial twang. Most importantly, it provides a seamless canvas onto which chefs may project their own individuality or themes. Anything but boring.