This article was written by leading food and travel journalist, Angela Youngman.
Welsh food is set to become the latest foodie trend in London. Former Masterchef star, Tom Simmons plans to fly the flag for his native country by opening a Welsh restaurant at One Tower Bridge.
Located in the prestigious One Tower Bridge development close to the Tower of London, the Welsh Restaurant will share the site with a 900 seat theatre and a new Ivy brasserie. Pembrokeshireshire born, Tom Simmons aims to source food as much as possible from Wales, and will offer diners a menu which will include cockle popcorn, laverbread mayonnaise, leek bread and a version of cawl lamb stew. Among the suppliers are Keltic Seafare and Preseli Bluestone.
Interviewed by the London Standard newspaper, Tom Simmons said,
“Wales isn’t known for its culinary delights, but it’s all about making the ingredients speak for themselves. I’ve been very lucky in having excellent produce around me my whole life, and it’s something I want to bring to London. The cawl is my mum’s recipe and the best I’ve ever had. She would throw all the veg in at the same time but in a professional kitchen those would be cooked as they should be.”
He recognises that laverbread may be an acquired taste. As a result he plans to introduce it to London diners by using alongside deep fried cockles.
“It’s too overpowering to be used on its own. But in a mayonnaise it’s a seasoning, and something I don’t think a lot of people in London will have had. Throwing in subtle references to Wales is what we want to do.”
The décor will reflect the Welsh heritage. The bar is made from slate, and there are Welsh oak tables. Scenes of the Welsh countryside decorate the walls.
Prior to this, Simmons was head chef at the Wolfscastle Country Hotel in Pembrokeshire where he received two AA rosettes.