WHAT a difference an interior designer makes. You’d hardly recognise 22 King Street from its days as Quill. Suri shines with a sense of purpose and that applies to the food, too, when ToM dropped in for a VIP launch.
We won’t be reviewing what’s on the plate yet. Though not beset by the seat of the pants flurry that often accompanies the debut of a new project, it was hard to establish the focus of a kitchen shimmering between Levantine and further west Med influences.
Its nearest rival is the universally applauded El Gato Negro but that arrived a year ago as a tried and tested high end chef’s take on Spanish tapas, a formula honed for a decade outside the city.
Suri, in contrast, is run by a new partnership – restaurateur Terence Langley (co-owner of Fazenda), property developer James Coubrough and property consultant-turned-restaurateur Andrea George (pictured above at the launch) – who have clearly done a lot of research into the style of cuisine. Suri means red rose in Persian and that country is a major influence here.
Chef Guy Callister used to work as Jamie Oliver’s operation chef and with colleague Leanne Robertson has created as menu with dishes listed under various categories such as Graze, Field, Farm, Waves and Enjoy.
Standouts on the night were Josper Honey’d salmon with avocado, sesame and keta caviar (Graze), Lebanese lamb cutlets with roasted garlic, tzatziki and pomegranate (Farm) and from Waves seared king prawns spiced with ras el hanout and charcoal grilled fish on the bone.
Puddings are big on the slice count; ditto signature cocktails replete with pomegranate, rose and saffron.
ToM retains a certain fondness for Quill’s bird-themed, penumbral interior and for the refined ‘molecular’ cuisine of Curtis Stewart, but it just didn’t work. With its bright new look Suri, tapping into the zeitgest of Ottolenghi, Wild Honey and Sabrina Ghayour, looks to have a rosy future (sic). Which is good for King Street, which has been through thorny times.