Located just around the corner from celeb hot spot Chiltern Firehouse, Carousel is a London pop up restaurant with a punchy reputation, famed for hosting leading figures in the culinary world – such as Moro Chef Tom Ryalls and in-house rising star Ollie Templeton. London restaurants with rotating chefs rarely have as much variety, and the most recent residency at Carousel is no exception.
Carousel: Leandro Carreira
Chef Leandro Carreira serves up delicate and sensory plates which not only work individually but as an ensemble as well, fusing flavours to create a veritable feast.
The atmosphere at is lively and enjoyable: the vibe is that of a friend's dinner party, where nobody knows each other but everyone's there for a shared interest. And it is easy to see why disciples of Carousel and Leandro Carreira gather so readily. The Grey Goose welcome cocktail sets the standard for the meal.
On the menu
First up on Carreira's menu is the goats cheese with thyme oil, thoughtfully presented and full of nuanced flavours. The fried cockle juices with lemon and honey emulsion that follows makes for a playful addition to the menu, stimulating the taste buds and leaving you hankering for more.
More comes in the form of charred leeks, served on a bed of mussel escabeche, followed by sea trout and mushroom pistachio caramel paste served with sweet chard. This is a real treat: the pan fried fish melts in the mouth, intertwining with the pistachio to produce truly original flavours.
Those who aren't fans of culinary minimalism, be warned, both courses lack in the artifice in presentation that justifies the size of dishes one has come to expect from Michelin star offerings.
Yet with all good evenings, Carreira's residency gains momentum and energy, not only from the chattering an excitable crowd but also thanks to the food – which builds to a climax with a delectable main course offering of Grilled lamb and beetroot. At once salty and sweet, the dish fuses colours, textures and flavours to great effect.
To round off the evening comes a bowl of Tonga bean ice cream, dusted with roasted quinoa – perfectly pitched in terms of sweetness and packed the right amount of crunch.
Service is always attentive and friendly without ever feeling intrusive: Carousel's clearly a place where foodies feel at home, with fellow guests swapping gossip on other London pop up restaurants with a similar gastronomical edge to Carousel's impressive rotating line-up.
A little more...
For more information, head to the Leandro Carreira twitter page or go to the Carousel Restaurant website.
Carousel's rotating service means you can expect to wait a little while between courses, but they are constantly improving and the dishes are certainly worth the wait. We'd recommend booking with a group, as Carousel's relaxed atmosphere and long tables are conducive to intimate dining among friends.
Lunch sittings are offered as one- or two-course, and those arriving early for dinner (doors open from 7pm) can even bide their time with a la plancha bar snacks in the garden. Expect to be there for at least two hours as service is staggered. Our tip: show up at 8 instead of 7 to avoid a wait.
|What||Carousel Marylebone Review: Leandro Carreira|
|Where||Carousel, 71 Blandford St, London , W1U 8AB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Baker Street (underground)|
04 Jun 15 – 13 Jun 15, 7:30 PM – 12:00 AM