VOC London to launch grill restaurant alongside punch house bar

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

The team behind 17th century punch house-inspired bar VOC London are launching a restaurant on site and changing the focus of the business
The team behind 17th century punch house-inspired bar VOC London are launching a restaurant on site and changing the focus of the business
The team behind VOC London have revealed they are transforming the Kings Cross venue to create a new 38-cover grill restaurant which will accompany the existing 17th century punch house-inspired bar.

Delwar Matin, the owner of the VOC London business, will open VOC Grill on 14 June in a space which recently became available behind the existing Varnishers Yard bar.

The restaurant opening will mark a significant change of focus for the venue which has operated as a cocktail and punch bar, with a menu created by Fluid Movement, since its launch in 2011.

"The transformation came about due to customers requesting more of a food offering at the VOC Bar," revealed Matin, speaking to BigHospitality.

"Customers regularly told us how much they enjoyed spending evenings experimenting with the different flavours and techniques that went into our 17th​ century-inspired cocktails and punches, but were keen to have the chance to enjoy a food offering alongside this.

"It was therefore the next logical step to provide the food element – introducing dishes that sit alongside the carefully-crafted punches," he added.

VOC Grill

The original venue was named after the colonial trading firm the Dutch East India Company, or Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), and the concept behind the forthcoming restaurant is designed to continue the ethos of the historic company by offering a mid-price point menu (two courses will cost £15-25) with exotic flavours and unusual combinations.

Executive chef Damien Wawrzyniak has helped create the seasonally-changing menu which will feature dishes such as pike with dandelion salad and sea urchin powder, chargrilled duck breast served with port-infused cherry compote or umami marinade and rib eye steak which is cooked using the sous vide method before it is grilled over almond and apple wood. 

"VOC has only offered bar snacks alongside our innovative drinks menu so the development of VOC Grill will be something completely new," Matin explained. "The addition of the restaurant and the carefully-designed open kitchen will allow us to create unique lunch and evening menus and will also give us the opportunity to revamp and add some new excitement to our food offering within the bar."

Complement

Matin was keen to point out that the restaurant should not overshadow the bar or alienate the venue's existing customers.

"We have spent a lot of time researching and considering what dishes we will include on the menu as it is essential that each dish is created to complement at least one of our punches or cocktails so that the experience is complete for our guests," he explained. 

"The next two years will be about ensuring the success of VOC Grill. It is of real importance to us that what we bring to the market is unique, well received and something that attracts new customers whilst retaining those already loyal to VOC Bar," he concluded. 

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