HK’s Serge et le Phoque to open in London

One of Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred restaurants, Serge et le Phoque, is opening a London venue this month.

Serge et le Phoque’s Charles Pelletier and Frédéric Peneau

The avant-garde French restaurant, famed for its Asian-inspired dishes, will open an 80-seater venue in the equally unconventional The Mandrake – a boutique hotel in Fitzrovia – later this month.

The brainchild of Frédéric Peneau (the former co-owner of Le Chateaubriand in Paris) and Charles Pelletier, the original Hong Kong venue opened in a Wan Chai back street in 2014 causing an immediate stir with its eclectic and wildly original dishes and wine selection which soon saw it pick up a Michelin star.

The concept is now coming to London with Peneau telling Eater London that he and Pellettier were inspired by the British capital’s dining scene. “Something cool is happening here in London,” he said, “’There’s more freestyle – I feel more freedom, rock ‘n’ roll.”

Albert Blaize, formerly assistant head sommelier at The Clove Club, has been named as head sommelier, overseeing a list set to feature a large amount of organic, biodynamic and ‘natural’ old and new world wines – just as it is at the original Wan Chai venue.

The menu is set to change every day and, again as in Hong Kong, may differ from table to table even but example dishes will include: Octopus with century egg, aji Armaillo, tobico and ginger; scallop with anchovy, fried leek root, dried shitake and matcha tea; dacquoise with almond biscuit, vanilla cream and nougatine.

No set opening time has yet been announced for the restaurant but it is expected to open fully later this August, having had a soft opening late last week.

The restaurant’s name comes from Peneau’s son, Serge, who’s imaginary best friend was a seal (‘phoque‘ in French).

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