Nuala and Flavour Bastard close their doors

The provocatively named Flavour Bastard and modern Irish restaurant and cocktail bar Nuala have both closed barely one year after opening, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by restaurateurs in London.

Flavour Bastard’s Dingley Dell pork belly with bacon jam

Flavour Bastard opened on Frith Street in Soho in September 2017, and the following August appeared to be closed. However at the time its owners assured diners that it was a temporary closure while a new ventilation system was installed.

It was thought the restaurant would reopen, however its owners have since confirmed its permanent closure, posting a message on its website that reads: “Flavour Bastard has now shut and will not reopen”.

The restaurant was founded by restaurateur Vic Singh and Pratap Chahal, who is behind London-based fine-dining events company That Hungry Chef.

Chef Chahal, who has worked for Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, Chez Bruce and Cinnamon Club before opening Flavour Bastard, had prided himself on being a “cuisine agnostic”, with unusual flavour combinations his kitchen’s staple.

Dishes included sardine and banana, octopus and passion fruit and coriander ice cream.

Elsewhere modern Irish restaurant Nuala, which was one of the most hotly anticipated restaurant openings of 2018, has also closed, as reported by Eater.

The restaurant opened in Old Street in December 2017 to rave reviews, and was listed in last year’s Wine List Confidential rankings as one of the best restaurants for wine in London.

Dishes, devised by co-owner and head chef, Niall Davidson, included smoked beef tartare from Torloisk Highland cows with egg yolk and cheddar, a starter of clams in a pistachio beurre blanc, and tender black leg chicken with anchovy purée and chanterelles.

The wine list was overseen by sommelier Honey Spencer, and included “funky” Garganega, “linear” Trousseau and Zweigelt. Beneath the restaurant was a cocktail bar that stocked over 50 bottles of Irish whiskey.

Davidson left the team just four months into 2018, and Spencer left in September to found events company Bastarda, with the restaurant as it stands is now seemingly closed for business.

“Nuala’s closure was a tragic case of mismanaged finances at the earliest stages of the project, which were irreparable down the line. It was such a joy to sculpt and execute a wine programme that brought together fine and natural wines under one roof, bridging the cultural gap while championing responsible agriculture and conscientious winemaking, and to see it well received in reviews and by our guests. I’m looking forward to continuing my work in these areas through my company Bastarda and other projects lined up in the UK and Europe,” Honey Spencer told db.

Nuala’s subterranean cocktail bar

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