Not everything translates, but New York chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson seems to have got it right for his latest venture in London. Expect American dishes including cornbread, an easy jerk recipe and the classic mac and cheese.
From Harlem to Shoreditch, as of this May, this second Red Rooster restaurant found its home in the basement of the hip and new, red-bricked hotel, The Curtain.
Beneath a taqueria upstairs, Red Rooster is moody, industrial and buzzy, crammed with art on the walls and creative types at the tables – just as you would expect this far east. There’s an open-hatch kitchen so you can see the action pretty much from wherever you sit, but perch at the central bar for a relaxed dinner.
The food here is all about Southern soul – but tastes of anywhere from Ethiopia (in the form of warming berbere spices) to Sweden (think meatballs with gnocchi, an unusual but delicious pickled gravy and lingonberries) are apparent on the menu. It shouldn’t all work together, but it does.
Fans will recognise some classics from the original restaurant, but there are plenty of new plates for its new setting here, too. Cornbread (damp slabs, made better yet with whipped honey butter and sticky-sweet tomato jam) is good, but so too (surprisingly) is black kale salad – the leaves, a mixture of curly, red Russian kale and bubble-wrap-like cavolo nero, are massaged with a creamy almond caesar dressing. If there’s a group of you, order whole fried chicken with waffles, biscuits, mac and greens, pickles, hot sauce and (yes, really) sparklers.
Service is the kind of warm informality you don’t always see this end of town, and the food’s great. And, if you book to stay the night, you can also sneak upstairs to the rooftop pool for champagne or cocktails overlooking the city. thecurtain.com/red-rooster