James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy, co-founders of Pidgin, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Hackney, are to open a new 55-cover restaurant, Magpie, this June on Heddon Street, off Regent Street.
Magpie will be a modern British interpretation of traditional dim sum restaurants with diners choosing plates straight off the trolley.
Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by a drinks trolley, laden with pre-mixed cocktails developed by General Manager Ajax Kentish that include Smoke off the Mountain, a rum-based Manhattan-style drink washed with peated whisky that combines Ron Zacapa 23 and Lagavulin 16, and I’m Jim Morrison I’m Dead with its rye, oloroso, and cherry liqueur.
Cocktails will be served with ice buckets and garnishes, and in addition to the trolley cocktails there will be a full bar from which guests can enjoy the Bo Diddly Rip Off; combining mescal and Hellfire bitters and more. Ramsden has written an eclectic wine list championing smaller, independent vineyards, with a focus on lesser known regions and grapes, with a small bias towards California, and an exciting selection of wines on tap.
Winding its way through the restaurant a sleek, modern trolley will be filled with small plates such as mackerel crudo with blueberry kosho and fennel pollen, and Hoi An-style terrine with nukazuke pickles. Trays of hot dishes will come out of the kitchen including udon noodles with paitan broth, calabrese sausage and cavolo nero, and grilled celeriac with gjetost and a watermelon barbecue sauce.
A small a la carte menu will also be available, including a few Pidgin favourites such as Galician dairy cow with lobster, pommes sarladaises and charred lettuce and cod, fried enoki, fermented jerusalem artichoke and cep oil. Desserts will include a strawberry panzanella with olive oil ice cream, and a ‘prickly’ pear with roasted miso custard and hibiscus, as well as a secret, off menu dish.
Ramsden said, “We’d discussed doing something like this before we even opened Pidgin – it seemed like a fun and novel approach to our current eating out habits, and a way of tackling some of the more frustrating aspects of ‘sharing’ plates,”
“It’s less of a ‘sharing’ thing than just a fun restaurant with damn delicious food,” adds Sam. “If people want to share their food then great – I do – but we want guests to feel more in control of their dinner and not have to fret over how to halve the third croquette.”
Katerina Mercury, for The Crown Estate’s Regent Street Portfolio, said, “We’re thrilled to welcome the award-winning James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy to Heddon Street with their latest concept, Magpie. A first for London’s dining scene, Magpie is set to be a tantalising, innovative and fun dining experience which will complement Regent Street’s renowned line-up of restaurants and world class shopping.”