The Kitchen Counter will be located at the rear of the open-plan dining room of the Shoreditch restaurant and bar launched last October by Borthwick, Angela Hartnett, Dominic Lake and Patrick Clayton-Malone. Available to book for groups of two to ten guests, it aims to give diners a unique experience and insight into the fast-paced, high-adrenaline operational kitchen at Merchants Tavern.
Guests will be able to ask Borthwick and his team to create a bespoke and seasonal ‘Chef’s menu’ on the day, which will reflect his signature modern European style.
This menu could include dishes such as fillet of bream, peas, broad beans and gnocchi a la Romana; spring vegetable salad, coppa and lemon thyme emulsion; roast saddle of new season lamb, with confit shoulder, wet garlic puree, spinach and golden raisins; and dark chocolate tart with salted almond ice cream – all influenced by Borthwick’s time in France and his training under chefs Michel Bras and Phil Howard.
The bespoke menus are available with or without matched wine pairings, and are priced at £50 for five courses (£80 including paired wines), or £65 for seven courses (£100 including paired wines).
Customers at the Kitchen Counter will also get a chance to sample the local ales, ‘sharpener of the day’, and extensive wine list available at the horseshoe-shaped bar.
Relaxed chef’s table
“Dining at the Kitchen Counter will offer a more personal, relaxed approach to the traditional chef’s table, with Neil and his team preparing, serving and talking diners through each course and individual ingredients. Available for lunch as well as dinner, the Kitchen Counter’s informality makes it an ideal choice for a business meeting, casual date, or celebration,” a Merchants Tavern spokesperson said.
Speaking upon the opening of the restaurant last October, Borthwick explained that the tavern concept was based on the belief that chefs are modern-day ‘merchants of good fortune’ – an idea largely inspired by the chef’s experience at Restaurant Bras under Michel Bras.