Carousel, Marylebone, review: ‘I challenge you to find a richer turnip-based dish’
- Credit: Archant
Prudence Ivey takes a turn around the menu at a Marylebone eaterie whose name is inspired by its revolving roster of visiting chefs
Carousel, just off Baker Street, takes its name from the revolving series of short residencies and offers Londoners the chance to taste cooking from world-renowned chefs without having to travel to them.
The influence of these global visitors can also be discerned in Ollie Templeton’s daily lunch menu; a feast of ingredients creatively prepared over eight or so small plates with motifs from Stockholm, Japan or Washington DC borrowed and built upon.
So a dish of orzo and Oloroso sherry was served with smoky Datterini tomatoes, an idea picked up from Michelin-starred Stockholm chef, Niklas Ekstedt whose appetite for smoking unlikely ingredients seemingly knows no bounds.
This international outlook is combined with an emphasis on the local and seasonal ingredients, and Templeton has a seriously exciting way with Britain’s winter vegetable provision – I challenge you to find a richer turnip-based dish than Carousel’s concoction with yoghurt and chilli butter.
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Also seeking to prove that February is, in fact, a bountiful month was the beef rib, celeriac and clementine – a crisp, bitter winter salad accompanying deeply flavoured slices of cured beef. Radicchio, endive and leeks all also made an appearance on the menu.
So, too, did tomatoes, not only smoked but also simply sliced atop a mound of smoked sheep’s milk ricotta and black garlic – wherever they managed to find such juicy tomatoes in the depths of a London winter is a triumph, as was the crispy lamb belly. The fat brown cubes of tender meat with a dollop of anchovy mayonnaise were a stonking savoury nibble and excellent value at £3.50.
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The long wooden tables and benches, used for convivial feasting at the evening events, lend themselves well to the more laid back lunch service in the light, vaguely industrial space. The menu fills the gap between sandwich chains and Marylebone’s more upmarket restaurants: with few dishes costing more than £9 it offers itself equally well as a business lunch venue and a slightly special shopping pit stop. And if you can’t get a spot at one of their evening events, you can sample a few of the grand ideas over lunch.
Carousel, 71 Blandford Street, W1U 8AB. Carousel-london.com. Small plates from £3.50