Food can be art and art can definitely be food (why else do we reach for our phones to capture beautifully presented plates?) so the announcement that Alex Jackson is choosing an art gallery annexe as the location for his first restaurant doesn’t seem that crazy. The Stevie Parle protégé and former Head Chef at Rotorino in Dalston is turning to the fields of Southern France as inspiration for Sardine.
Inspired by the simplicity and seasonality of farmhouse cooking in Provence and Languedoc, Alex will be using authentic imported ingredients alongside quality British meat and fish at Sardine, a restaurant that promises a quick, fuss-free, buzzy dining experience across breakfast, lunch and supper. The food is a little less quick (in terms of preparation), as the traditionally slow cooked leg of lamb demonstrates, but diners will have the choice of light bites, starters, mains and desserts with sharing encouraged. Sardines obviously make it onto the menu (grilled and stuffed) whilst other standout dishes include whole rabbit to share, handmade malloreddus (Sardinian gnocchi) with salami, dandelion and ricotta and an adventurous ‘mixed fry’: brains, borage, artichoke, sweetbreads and panisse (chickpea fries). Alex hopes to build a relationship with visitors to Parasol, the contemporary gallery next door, so diners can browse the art once they’ve eaten in the space that itself has a hand painted mural on one wall and muted colour scheme of peach, navy and mustard. Simple, fresh, traditional Southern French cooking: a welcome addition to this area near Old Street.
Sardine at Parasol: Opens 5th July, 15 Micawber Street, Shoreditch, N1 7TB, www.sardine.london.com
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Deputy Editor Fran can be found sipping espresso martinis by night and, by day, on the hunt for London's best brunch. Bonus points for a runny yolk and the perfect flat white.