Swedish, award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson just opened his beloved and renowned restaurant Red Rooster in the heart of Shoreditch and he brought funky beats, classic Harlem dishes and a taqueria with him.
Go through the doors of the trendy lifestyle hotel and members club The Curtain, down the dark and quite anonymous staircase and one floor down you will find Red Rooster’s new London home. Depending on which time of the day you stop by, this genuine American diner will take the shape of everything from a late night cocktail club with a DJ to a brunch with a live in-house gospel choir.
For almost a decade Red Rooster has been a true success on the New York restaurant scene. Rumour has it, we are in for another success story. According to Marcus Samuelsson himself, what makes the kitchen so unique is that it is a mix of different cultures and flavours. It is ”an expression of my multi-cultural background” as Samuelsson puts it, explaining that the London menu is similar to the classic one in New York including signature items from Red Rooster Harlem and dishes inspired by Sweden and Ethiopia, but also some new, local London-inspired fares.
On the question why London and why Shoreditch, Samuelsson answered: ”Growing up in Sweden, London was that big ambitious city, it was my version of New York City. It was always a dream of mine to open a restaurant in London and it is incredible to finally see it happen.” As for Shoreditch, he says that it reminds him of Harlem “with the way it has changed and how it is a mecca for artists”. Samuelsson continued: ”I really like Shoreditch and the scene here, this neighbourhood has a lot of mystique to it. Having spent a lot of time in London over the last few years, it became clear that Shoreditch and the East end was where I wanted to be. I love the vibe here with the music scene and serious food and drink enthusiasts. Also the art work.”
Alongside Red Rooster Shoreditch, Samuelsson has also opened Tienda Roosteria. Located in the same building but on the ground floor, this taco restaurant will serve as The Curtain’s main bar and local hangout. With these two new places Samuelsson has expanded his impressive portfolio and entered the London restaurant scene in a thoughtful and exquisite manner. There seems to be no plan of other London locations in the nearby future but Samuelsson hints that there will be two new US locations added shortly, one in Newark, New Jersey, and one in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.