LONDON | Carousel Marylebone is one of the more interesting restaurant concepts to open in London in recent years. Shuttlecock Inc have converted the unassuming space into somewhere that chefs and supper clubs will run pop-up residences, along with the ability to hold art exhibits and functions on the upper floors. Shuttlecock Inc is the family business of cousins Ollie, Will, Ed and Anna Templeton, all who have food and hospitality in their DNA. In fact when we visited Carousel in May, Ollie was the resident chef.
The space itself is small, with a few communal tables, a bar and outdoor area forming the entirety of the main dining area. It’s very cozy and homely.
Ollie’s residence drew upon his Andalusian upbringing and his formative years at Moro, resulting in food that was traditionally Spanish at heart but with modern twists. Full use was made of seasonal spring produce. Drinks wise, there were a few beers on offer and some rather brilliant Spanish wines. Cocktails were also available.
This came out as an appetiser and for the life of me I cannot remember the proper name for it but it was essentially a jamon roll. It was deliciously indulgent.
Grilled Peas, Sorrel, Labneh & Bottarga
I’m not usually a fan of peas but these al dente peas were delicious, their texture balancing beautifully with the labneh and bottarga. A dish that screamed out “hello spring” from the rooftops and gave a hint as to the meal that was to come.
Wild Sea Trout, Chopped Asparagus, Alinadas & Green Peppers
A very simple dish with some surprisingly complex flavours, the wild sea trout was a very fresh dish and one of the highlights of the meal.
I wasn’t going to pass on this £8.50 supplement to the set menu. Secreto Iberico with wild garlic Ajo Blanco and grilled red chilli – yet another example of simple ingredients being allowed to shine while being elevated by technique. Every bite of this was heavenly.
Swaledale Lamb, Grilled Onions, New Season’s Garlic & Herbs
Am I repeating myself if I mention that this dish was all about highlighting the quality of the seasonal produce? Well yes, but the fact is that’s exactly what was going on here. The lamb was almost streaky bacon like on the outside and beautifully tender on the inside. A delight.
Milk Ice-Cream, Rice Pudding, Rhubarb & Strawberry
To finish, was this dessert that stuck the proverbial middle finger up to the retreating cold weather and embraced what’s great about the end of Spring. The ice-cream was beautifully creamy as was the rice pudding which added some textural variation to the dish. The Rhubarb and Strawberry said goodbye winter and hello summer in each mouthful. A perfect combination of flavours, with some pistachios for good measure.
I love what the Templetons are doing with Carousel. Ollie’s food was outstanding and based on my discussions with others who have dined here before, and a quick glance at the chefs who will be appearing over the coming months, I have no doubt that you’ll have a great meal here no matter who is cooking.
71 Blandford Street
London W1U 8AB
Telephone: 020 7487 5564
Email: [email protected]
Mon – Sat: 9:00am to 11:30pm