Thomas Straker is set to open his first solo restaurant in June later this year | Source: Home Interiors
Former Dinner by Heston chef and foodie social media star Thomas Straker is launching his first solo adventure in London’s famed Notting Hill.
Scheduled to open in June later this year, the brick-and-mortar restaurant is called Straker’s and offers “the vibe of an East London wine bar”.
The property, originally called Acre and scheduled to open in March 2020, has unfortunately been suspended due to pandemic closures of the hospitality industry.
In the works since 2018, before its meteoric rise on the internet, the address of 91 Golborne Road Notting Hill has also changed from its previous location at Queen’s Park.
Popular online for “cooking food you want to eat,” Straker mentions that “the food (from the restaurants) will be finer than what I do (online). An epic neighborhood restaurant, that’s what we’re hoping for. to achieve.
Inspired by exceptional seasonal products cooked with simplicity and skill, a menu with Italian influences will be “constantly evolving”.
Dishes include potato gnocchi with burnt butter, lemon and Parmesan cheese; grilled bass with white peach and almonds; and wood-roasted sole with zucchini fritti.
While certainly Italian, Straker fears being called an “Italian restaurant” instead of bringing its online creativity to the table via a menu that doesn’t follow the usual guidelines.
I can’t wait to not get stuck in, oh, Tom is opening an Italian restaurant. I’m not. There are no recipes or rules.
The menu will be accompanied by a “short but specialist” wine list from vineyards in France, Italy and Spain curated by London-based wine merchant The Modest Merchant.
Online, Straker represents a new wave of modern chefs creating snack videos that are both entertaining and informative.
Post-pandemic, Straker had 900 followers on Instagram — he now has 169,000 followers on Instagram and another 197,000 on TikTok.
Straker says his goal was far from being a social media celebrity, but simply sharing cooking tips for his friends. Its honest and simple food combined with its relatable ambiance is undoubtedly its recipe for success.
And while many social stars may have minimal experience, Tom is classically trained with recipes backed by real-world knowledge and experience.
He previously spent time cutting his teeth at Brett Graham’s Michelin-starred Ledbury, then worked at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and became head chef at Casa Cruz in Notting Hill.
It looks like Straker continues to go from strength to strength. From social media sensation to restaurateur, the next step for the English chef appears to be a cookbook to follow next April and hopefully future restaurants.
I don’t necessarily want to open 10 Straker’s, but once we get it right I might do one in the east, I’ll head to a rooftop…