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Chiltern Firehouse chef to open Portuguese resto

Nuno Mendes, head chef of celebrity favourite the Chiltern Firehouse, is to open a restaurant in Spitalfields, East London, focusing on Portuguese food and wine.

As reported by Bloomberg, Taberna do Mercado will be a 40-cover restaurant in Spitalfields market near Liverpool Street. The venture from the Portuguese-born chef will have a soft opening from 4-10 May.

Despite his new venture, Mendes will continue as executive chef at Chiltern Firehouse, which became a honey pot for A-listers soon after it opened last year.

Prior to turning the Firehouse white hot, Mendes, an El Bulli alumnus, steered the ship at his Michelin-starred Viajante at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green.

Meaning “traveller” in Portuguese, Mendes’ intricate dishes paid special attention to colour, texture and temperature, taking diners on a culinary journey inspired by Portuguese, Thai, Japanese and South American cuisine.

Mendes was once christened the Heston of Hoxton due to his fondness for molecular techniques, which were previously deployed at Bacchus in Shoreditch.

There are whispers that Mendes is keen to open a reincarnation of Viajante at a different site one day, though plans are being kept tightly under wraps.

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