Coal Vaults opens today on Wardour Street in an historic building originally used for storing coal in the early 19th Century. Hence the name. The space has been restored to its former glory using copper, timber, steel, and old London stock brickwork. There are also five separate vaults for private dining as well as the intimate bar and 100 capacity dining room.
It is founded by two young entrepreneurs Simo (Martyn Simpson) and Felix Leuschner. Magnus Reid (The Rooftop Café) has consulted on the menu and the kitchen operation will be spearheaded by James Knox Boothman (A Little of What You Fancy, The French House, GRUB at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club) and bar manager is Jerome Slesinski (Unpackaged).
Says Boothman: “This is a project with endless opportunity – pre-booked vaults for intimate, discreet parties and feasting dinners in the main space. It's a case of doing everything to the highest standard – making your own bread, preserves and combining food and drink together.”
His small-plate menu features ingredient-led cuisine, focusing on quality and using seasonal produce. Sample dishes include Five-hour shoulder of lamb cooked in hay and lavender and served with caper, mint and spiced anchovy couscous; Westcombe dairy ricotta cakes with figs, wild rocket and balsamic syrup; Seared scallops with black pudding, cider sauce and celery salted apple crisps and Earl Grey bread with butter and strawberry jam.
Every dish on the menu is listed with a cocktail to match and Slesinki has also created his own home-infused blends. The cocktails are not compulsory though and a large selection of old-world wine will also be available plus beer from local London breweries.