John Javier announces the launch of his new restaurant, The Tent (at the end of the universe), which opens to the public on 17 August.
The restaurant, at 17 Little Portland Street, serves a modern representation of Middle Eastern food in an intimate concept dining room. Guests will be joined by a seated DJ in the 34 cover room, surrounded by Berlin’s world-class Martion Audiosysteme – the preferred speakers of some of electronic music’s most revered institutions.
This is Javier’s first foray into the region’s cuisine, usually known for his irreverent, playful take on Chinese food. The Filipino-born chef was raised in Australia and started out in the kitchens of acclaimed Quay, Noma and Momofuku Seiobo before opening rock & roll Chinese restaurant MASTER in Sydney, and more recently at the helm of Happy Paradise in Hong Kong.
Paying respect to traditional Middle Eastern flavours and techniques, the menu at The Tent changes weekly, and features the likes of suckling lamb or mushroom shish; dairy cow rib with ras el hanout; carabineros prawns with baharat spices; and grilled onions with sumac and pomegranate molasses. Alongside these sit Javier’s dips, from hummus with chilli oil and burnt lime; tzatziki dressed with wakame oil; beetroot and labneh borani; and taramasalata with onion ash. Menus are served with signature Javier twists along the way, such as secreto schnitzel (schnitzel is a popular dish in Israel but Javier’s chosen to switch out chicken breast for Iberico pork or Saganaki cheese here) and ingredients rarely represented in the region’s cooking such as dashi, kombu and yuzu kosho in place of more authentic seasonings and aromatics.
Drinks come from a concise but quirky list that sees Japanese whiskies sit alongside mezcals, CBT teas and herbal infusions. There’s a succinct selection of wines sourced predominantly from Europe, and a playful menu of cocktails including spirits such as chardonnay grape skin vodka and coconut bourbon.
The dining room is designed in the theme of a tent: dimly lit with canvas ceiling awnings, star-lit installations and lunar-inspired lighting casting over the low stool seating. On Wednesday nights there’s live music ranging from Brazilian jazz to experimental. Music is an important part of the dining experience throughout the week and a carefully curated list of DJs play each dinner service with seated DJs intimately nestled between diners in the room.
The restaurant occupies the ground floor of 17 Little Portland Street, a recently opened private club.