Notting Hill restaurant The Counter to open Soho site

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Images: Ola Smit
Images: Ola Smit

Related tags Kemal Demirasal Turkish cuisine The Counter London Restaurant

Kemal Demirasal is opening a follow up restaurant to his popular The Counter Notting Hill in Soho this May.

The Counter Soho will open on Soho’s Kingly Street and will comprise a 60-cover restaurant and a 30-cover downstairs bar called Under The Counter.

The restaurant will bring the flavours of the Aegean to diners alongside south eastern Anatolian favourites from The Counter Notting Hill​ with a menu inspired by Demirasal’s childhood growing up in the city of Izmir on the Aegean coast.

The menu will pay homage to the culinary traditions of Turkey and to the Aegean regions of Greece, ‘along with subtle inflections from the nearby Mediterranean and Levant regions’.

It will comprise a selection of hot and cold mezze to share, plus larger grilled and slow cooked dishes, which typify Aegean cuisine. Cold plates will include the likes of whipped tarama and fish roe; tzatziki with pickles and sumac; muhammara with pistachio and honey; sea bass crudo and citrus zest with umami sauce; and Istanbul tomato salad and chives.

Hot dishes will include cheese saganaki with pistachio and honey; grilled octopus with mashed fava; saffron and crab orzo; and larger sharing plates of whole sea bass and slow roasted lamb shoulder.

There will also be regularly changing seafood dishes and catch of the day specials, including the likes of tuna ‘wagyu’ for two to three people to share, and scallops with tarragon oil and monk’s beard.

Some of the most popular dishes from The Counter Notting Hill will also feature, such as the chocolate babaganoush with dukkah; Levantine lamb tartare; kibbeh; vine leaf deconstructed dolma and adana kebab.

Levantine wines will be available, alongside old world European wines from countries such as Italy, France and Germany, and new world wines from the likes of New Zealand, Western Australia and South America.

One of Turkey’s most highly acclaimed chefs, Demirasal​ is best known for his avant-garde fine dining restaurant Alancha. The Counter Soho is the second partnership between Demirasal and food, beverage and lifestyle investment company Gees Court Partners and follows the success of their first joint venture, The Counter Notting Hill, which opened in 2022.

The restaurant’s design will include nods to the Aegean with a terracotta colour palette, and the use of marble and oak. The restaurant’s bi-folding windows will open up onto Kingly Street and a 20-seat terrace outside.

The-Counter-Soho-&-Under-The-Counter_cocktails_Credit_-Ola-O.-Smit-web
Image: Ola Smit

Under the Counter

Below will be 30-cover cocktail bar Under The Counter with drinks drawing inspiration from Greece, Turkey, the Mediterranean and Levant. Drinks will include the Silkroad, made with sesame oil cognac, amaretto, sugar syrup, and lemon, inspired by the ancient trading route which ran through Turkey; and the Yia Mas, made with rum, osmanthus and yuzu, maraschino and tonic water, named after the common Greek toasting that means ‘to our health’.

There will be a selection of clarified and milk punch cocktails incorporating unusual milks, such as the Artemis, made with lavender vodka, lychee, jasmine milk and yellow chartreuse; and the Aegean Paloma made with olive oil fat-washed tequila, chilli, Aperol, grapefruit soda and Peychaud’s bitters; and the Galata, made with Irish whiskey, agave, Safari liqueur and Turkish tobacco bitters.

“We’re really excited to be bringing the flavours of the Aegean, which unites Greece and Turkey, to central London,” says Demirasal.

“We couldn’t be happier to be opening our second restaurant in Soho, and to open our first ever bar, Under The Counter, in the heart of London’s vibrant west end.”

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