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After reading so many outstanding reviews of Carousel in Marylebone, I had to go and experience it for myself. Carousel is a permanent pop-up restaurant, where a different world class chef takes up residency every few weeks. The restaurant is brought to you by the same team responsible for the immersive, Pan Am-style, ‘Mile High’ dining experiences and is located between Bond Street and Baker Street tube stations.
Last week, I stopped by Carousel for a six-course meal by celebrated British chef, Tom Ryalls. Tom possesses a laid back, effortless style of cooking that belies a razor-sharp technique and an artful balance of flavour developed in the kitchens of St John Bread & Wine and Moro, amongst others. Tom’s residency is titled ‘The Hunger Gap’, and is inspired by ancient methods of food preservation that were used before people had fridges. Back then, the annual bounty of summer produce was pickled, salted, smoked and confit-ed to last through the colder months – and these are the methods that Tom has chosen for his stint at Carousel.
Tom’s six-course menu (£35 per person, excluding drinks) features a pleasing balance between meat & fish and a focus on the quality & provenance of his chosen ingredients. The meal consisted of warm bread to start, three starter plates, two main plates and a dessert:
Ryalls’s expert knowledge of food really shines through – all of the food was excellent, and the meal was a great opportunity for me to eat foods which I normally wouldn’t order at a restaurant such as the ox tongue pastrami!
All three starters complimented one another well and I particularly enjoyed the anchovy & sage potato cakes and hispi cabbage. The salt brill was very tasty, I loved the mix of puréed Jerusalem artichoke with sliced Jerusalem artichoke. The guinea fowl was juicy & flavoursome, and also something that I rarely eat. Finally, the dessert was fresh and sweet, not too big or small.
As for the atmosphere in the room, it was very upbeat, and the food definitely provided a fun conversation for everyone. The room was full of foodies, the man next to me was a chef at Oblix in The Shard and the group to the other side of me were talking about other foodie events they’d been to recently.
I love the concept of Carousel and am really excited to return. The restaurant is perfect for an evening out after work with colleagues, a night out with friends, or a date… You choose, but make sure you do!
Click here for a summary of upcoming chefs and events at Carousel.