Perilla pair to launch Morchella in Clerkenwell

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Daniel Fletcher (centre) with Morchella founders Ben Marks (R) and Matt Emmerson (L) [Credit: Stuart Milne]
Daniel Fletcher (centre) with Morchella founders Ben Marks (R) and Matt Emmerson (L) [Credit: Stuart Milne]

Related tags Morchella Perilla Restaurant Casual dining Chef Ben Marks Matt Emmerson London

The pair behind popular north London restaurant Perilla are to launch a new venture next year in Clerkenwell, just off Exmouth Market.

Ben Marks and Matt Emmerson will open Morchella in February having acquired the former La Porchetta site on Rosebury Avenue.

The new restaurant and wine bar will serve a menu of Mediterranean-inspired sharing dishes, with Emmerson saying he hopes it will be an extension of what he and Marks have built at Perilla.

“We're bringing that same neighbourhood warmth to Exmouth Market, with exceptional food, great wines and a talented team,” he adds.

Former Sky Garden and 28 Market Place chef Daniel Fletcher (pictured with Marks and Emmerson) will lead the kitchen at Morchella, who will put an emphasis on using of highly seasonal produce, sourced from both artisanal Mediterranean suppliers and small independent British day boats and farmers.

Dishes set to feature on the launch menu include octopus Luciana; salt baked poussin; and hake with sobrassada sauce.

“I am really excited to be joining Ben and Matt on this journey, and to get started cooking the food I enjoy eating,” says Fletcher.

“It is something we have been planning as a team for a long time and it is wonderful seeing everything come to fruition.”

Housed in a former bank, the 68-cover restaurant will feature a minimalistic and stripped-back design with lush greenery, raw plaster and stripped original wooden panelling.

At its centre will be an open kitchen, with the space also featuring a dedicated wine bar and downstairs private dining room.

There will also be a 24-seat outdoor terrace overlooking Exmouth Market that’ll be open in the warmer months.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be opening in Clerkenwell,” says Marks.

“We feel we’ve found a beautiful site and put together a really talented and experienced team.”

Perilla was launched in 2016 by former The Square chef Marks and Polpo front-of-house man Emmerson.

The restaurant has previously featured on the National Restaurant Awards top 100 list​, recognised for its 'intelligently offbeat seasonal cooking and great wine served in beautiful surrounds'.

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