If you follow us on Instagram, you'll have noticed that we often frequent a restaurant in Marylebone called Carousel. Although, Carousel isn't really your typical restaurant. In fact, it would be better described as a rotating pop-up restaurant--a concept so fantastic that we honestly wish we had thought of it ourselves. Founded in the last couple years by four cousins, Carousel hosts guest chefs for 1-2 week residencies. The resident chefs come from all over the world--from Mexico to Australia and Japan--and all of them are incredibly talented, many having trained at some of the world's top restaurants. As pop-ups, guest chef residencies, and chef collaborations are becoming increasingly popular in cities like London and New York, Carousel provides a space for up-and-coming and well-established chefs alike to showcase their cuisine in a new market, while offering London diners the chance to try dishes they would have otherwise had to travel for.
Diners buy tickets in advance, and it's always £35. This typically includes 3-5 courses, depending on the resident chef, and there is also usually an optional extra course. Drinks are of course extra, and the chef will often concoct a special cocktail during his/her residency.
We've visited Carousel about a dozen times now, and have been thoroughly impressed with the chefs Ollie and his team have managed to line up every other week. We have experienced some truly excellent meals, and since many chefs are still early on in their careers, we have started to follow them, excited to see what they're going to do next!
Here are some of the most memorable dishes we've had throughout our many visits to Carousel:
Needless to say, Carousel is without a doubt one of our favourite London experiences, as no two nights are ever the same. That said, no place is perfect, and we do have a couple suggestions for the Carousel team, if they are reading this:
- Sound-proofing, please! Though it depends on the night--the worst being when there's a hen party--the restaurant is always noisy, making it difficult to have a group conversation. As a cost-effective solution, we've seen restaurants put in styrofoam underneath the tables which we've found to be incredibly effective.
- Change up the wine! Though the food constantly changes at Carousel, the wine unfortunately never does. Ok, so we admittedly dine at Carousel much more frequently than others do, but it would still be nice to have some different wines every once in awhile.
However, these are just quibbles - we think Carousel is definitely one of the best additions to the London dining scene in the last couple years. We'll be back at Carousel next for Bar Brutal from Barcelona, and in a couple weeks time for Rimpei Yoshikawa of Tokyo's Pignon. Follow us on Instagram to see what they feed us!