Having had the restaurant's original launch date in May cancelled as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown, Lastra's decision to drive forward with a 2020 opening has been propelled by a desire to reignite momentum and a sense of hope amidst the hospitality sector, whilst also getting his team-in-waiting back to work.
The chef has confirmed that Kol will welcome its first diners on Tuesday, 20 October.
“It was a huge knock back when the restaurant was unable to open in May, but we saw the situation as a positive and spent time further refining, researching and fully immersing ourselves in the Kol vision," says Lastra, who has been spent more than two years developing ideas and researching produce for the restaurant.
"We are now more ready than ever before."
Kol, which takes its name from the Spanish word for cabbage (col), will draw on Lastra’s Mexican roots and background sourcing ingredients for Rene Redzepi’s Noma Mexico restaurant - Lastra having been headhunted by Redzepi to act as project manager during its six-week run during 2017.
Split across two levels, the restaurant's design - overseen by A-NRD studio - will 'reflect the vibrant colour palate of the rural Mexican landscapes, villages and homes where Santiago has spent time honing his craft, with notes of Nordic minimalism'.
The 56-cover first floor dining room will offer two set menus that will change seasonally, with the choice of either five or six courses priced at £55 and £70 per person respectively.
Dishes set to feature include langoustine tacos with sea buckthorn; lamb leg tostada cured in gooseberries with walnut oil and fermented chillis; kolrabi ceviche; and tamal served with corn-husk ice cream.
A specialist mezcal bar will sit on the restaurant's lower ground floor serving artisan mezcals; rare agave spirits; and cocktails.
Adjacent to this will be a 20-cover chef’s table bar, with large windows in to the restaurant’s second kitchen.
"I believe that the opening of Kol, at this time, can bring a little hope to the hospitality sector," adds Lastra.
"[I want] people to think, okay – the industry is not totally stalling, new restaurants can and will open, and there’s still something to be salvaged from this crazy year.”