The 60-cover venue is situated on the site of the former Yelo Thai restaurant on Hoxton Square. Edwards and head chef Luke Cleghorn – who also previously worked at St John Hotel before it fell into administration– have devised a seasonal menu which focuses on nose-to-tail cookery from a charcoal grill.
“We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from everything we learnt at St John,” Edwards told BigHospitality. “I like the freedom they had with their cooking – we’ll still use fresh, good quality British ingredients but we’ll take our inspiration from other cuisines around the world.
“The menu at Master & Servant is quite to-the-point - there’s no big explanations of each item. I want to leave a lot of that the front-of-house, I think that’s really important. A very well-briefed waiter will be able to tell you everything about the beef we have on offer - I really loved that aesthetic at St John.”
Music to restaurants
Forty-year-old Edwards previously worked in the music industry for over 10 years and was responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of artists such as Robbie Williams.
“Moving from music to restaurants was a bit of a leap,” he added. “A lot of people were surprised that I made the move, but I wasn’t allowed to be very creative in the job I was in. My first step into the restaurant industry was working for Mark Hix, which was a big learning curve.
“Having my own restaurant now allows me to flex a bit of creative muscle myself – the name ‘Master & Servant’ is in homage to one of my favourite bands.”
The venue has a total capacity of over 70, with a bar area on the ground floor along with an open kitchen, chef’s table and outside terrace feeding out onto the Hoxton Square.
The lease for the development is split with Happiness Forgets, a neighbouring basement cocktail bar which will serve a bespoke list of cocktails at Master & Servant, in return for bar food being supplied to their venue.
On the menu
Cocktails at Master & Servant will include ‘the Nolitan’ - a sour fizz made with Manzanilla sherry, Kamm and Sons ginseng spirit, lemon juice and egg white; and the Caesar, vodka, Master & Servant’s house clamato juice, horseradish, smoked chilli, lime juice and pikkapeppa. A 40-bin wine list completes the drinks offering at the venue.
The food menu will feature Master & Servant’s own smoked meats and home-made charcuterie. Signature dishes include surf clam chowder (£6.90), ox cheek, celeriac and horseradish (£17.80), Hereford porterhouse for two (£58), crab claws and chipotle mayonnaise (£11.50) and pistachio doughnuts in honey syrup (£7.40).
Meanwhile the bar snacks menu lists potted haddock with pickled cucumber (£4.90), and back fat on toast with caper leaves (£4.60), amongst other dishes.
The restaurant’s ‘Manhattan design’ will feature exposed bricks, walls decorated with mirrored tiles, distressed oak floors, reclaimed dairy lights and teak block wood tables and bar. An additional dining bar and stools in the basement below overlooks the open kitchen, while a leather booth seats larger groups.
Speaking about the potential to expand the concept based on its success, Edwards said: “I do think it has great potential to be developed. At the moment I’m concentrating on this place but it’s always in our mind.
“The logo, the menu and where Master & Servant is pitched in the market are all things that I think could be replicated, but I don’t think any two sites would be completely the same, so it’s definitely not going to be a chain.”
Master & Servant restaurant will open for lunch and dinner on 8-9 Hoxton Square next Monday, 4 March.