LONDON Quince, a new destination restaurant at The May Fair Hotel, will open its doors June 1, with celebrity Chef Silvena Rowe at its helm.
Silvena will bring her signature blend of Eastern Mediterranean flavors to Quince with a menu that represents more than two decades of dedication and research and imparts her love and passion for the culinary attributes of the Ottoman Empire.
Dishes like the Ottoman Spiced Lamb Cutlets with Tahini and black truffle sauce has strong links to Silvena’s Turkish heritage and are an homage to her grandfather Mehmed, who cooked the dish for her father. By contrast, green herb and spice Salmon Shawarma is a unique modern healthy alternative to the traditional meat shawarma and is cooked on a bespoke vertical grill. The Orange and Orange Blossom Baklava dates back to the late 1400s and was said to be a favorite of Roxelane, the wife of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.
Silvena’s diverse culinary background includes a stint as a food columnist for The Guardian, food consultant on David Cronenberg’s 2007 film “Eastern Promises,” a regular favorite on several UK culinary television programs including “Saturday Kitchen” and “Young Chef of The Year,” and a successful cookbook entitled Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume.
The restaurant worked with famed interior designer Martin Brudnizki to incorporate the rich heritage of the Eastern Mediterranean and the energy of a busy cosmopolitan London into its design. The main dining room is inspired by the colors and textures of the cuisine and the region it represents and can accommodate 90 guests. Varieties of blues and greens will be prominent throughout the restaurant, with contrast accents of orange, copper and turquoise. A kaleidoscope of colored glass welcomes guests at the entrance.
A fundamental part of the design will be the open kitchen, with its beaten-copper front and onyx-topped counter, where the surrounding diners will enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas of Silvena’s style. A chef’s table will also be available, seating a maximum of eight people for an eight-course tasting menu. The bar area will be equally luxurious and lit by intricate pendants, each consisting of thousands of silk strands.
A cocktail menu, featuring drinks with or without alcohol, has been developed based on the subtleties of the herbs, spices, fruits and flora used throughout Silvena’s dishes. The signature Lebanese Taxi, with rose water and lavender, takes its name from the all-female pink taxi service in Lebanon.
The wine list will include special selections from both the old and new world, with specific additions of boutique wines from Colombia and rare vintages such as Chateau Musar 1993 made from grapes grown in the Bekaa Valley near Ghazir in Lebanon.
Afternoon tea will also be served in the exclusive Quince Salon, which has its own private bar and can accommodate up to 60 guests.