The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats | meltingbutter.com

The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats

My latest visit to London involved a very special trip to L’Entrepot to meet with Patrick Hanna (the restaurant’s very accomplished head chef) and learn about his tricks of the trade for preparing steak tartare. I didn’t leave of course, without sampling the delightful food (and matched wines) on offer for the day.

Food and wine aside, I was instantly impressed by the cool, stripped down Hackney-esque warehouse interiors (check the write up here). But the thing that impressed me most about L’Entrepot was Patrick. He had a special faithfulness to his craft and a real desire to take his best experiences at previous restaurants (all notable London establishments like Duck Soup and Rochelle Canteen by the way!) and use them in developing L’Entrepot’s unique wine-led style.

As it always does, the conversation quickly developed into a “what’s your favourite London restaurant” one – chefs must feel like doctors sometimes with all the people constantly vying for free advice! But you should have seen the topic of restaurants make his voice slightly pick up pace and his eyes light up with enthusiasm as he reeled off his favourite hotspots. I just knew I had to share all of this cherished insider information in this edition of The Curators!

Read on to meet Patrick Hanna, find out about his time at Duck Soup and Rochelle Canteen, his plans for L’Entrepot and best of all his curated London eats guide.

L'Entrepot | The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats | meltingbutter.com

Inside L’Entrepot

 

MB – You worked at two of my personal favourite London establishments – Duck Soup and Rochelle Canteen. Tell me one thing you learned at each of those kitchens that you’ve brought with you to L’Entrepot.

PH – Rochelle Canteen’s lazy Mediterranean lunches led me into understanding the food of much of the south of Europe. I started to see that there were many shared techniques between these lands and the importance of the produce to each dish. The flavours would be brought out with lemon and oil rather than butter and flour. I grew up in Ireland where this lightness of touch is very rare – I fell for it and still count the lemon as my desert island ingredient.

Duck Soup was a marriage of this same thinking with the natural wines whose flavours suffer when paired to richer dishes. When thinking of dishes we tried to keep the ingredients to a minimum – that one or two indelible flavours would allow room for the wines to show their character.

Now here at L’Entrepot, a neighbourhood restaurant, we try to balance those values learned at Rochelle Canteen and Duck Soup to Borough Wines’ extensive cellars. The importance of lightness and commitment to great seasonal produce is still front and centre to the menu.

MB – Being part of Borough Wines, do the wines ever play a part in introducing a new dish to the menu?

PH – The wines are central to what we do here. I like to sit down and taste the new wines as they come. Sometimes a dish is inspired from the wine. Sometimes I have a specific dish that needs a particular wine. Having such a wide variety at our disposal has been fun. It’s springtime here in London, finally, and I feel a pull towards fresh green foods with lighter wines. 

MB – Any big plans for L’Entrepot in the future?

PH – We have the most enormous space here at L’Entrepot. Our basement is being fitted out for a Frank Laws exhibition. He has worked with the local community creating an exhibition about Pembury Estate. I’m looking forward to collaborating on events in the future.

MB – What are some interesting restaurant trends you’re seeing in London at the moment?

PH – Hackney, which used to be a bit of a backwater, has suddenly become the most vibrant restaurant district in London. A big trend is in younger people coming back to wines in a serious way. 

MB – Which are your 3 top food cities around the world? Why?

PH – Cities work best when life and commerce are a jumble. Istanbul, San Sebastian and Marseille are all things at once. The food is fantastic, vibrant yet designed for everyone.

 

PATRICK HANNA’S LONDON RESTAURANT HIT LIST

DUCK SOUP, LONDON SOHO

Most perfect Soho haunt. Beautiful food and natural wines with just a hint of seedy old Soho. It’s set just under the old colony rooms.

http://www.ducksoupsoho.co.uk/

Duck Soup | The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats | meltingbutter.com

Inside Duck Soup – Photo: Courtesy of Duck Soup

 

ROCHELLE CANTEEN, SHOREDITCH

Margot Henderson’s brilliant team serves the best lunch in London. Lazy BYO on a day off. Bliss.

http://www.arnoldandhenderson.com/

Rochelle Canteen | The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats | meltingbutter.com

Inside Rochelle Canteen

 

KOYA, LONDON SOHO

Junya and Giles are the heart of this place. Please try the udon but with the specials being possibly the best cooking in London don’t miss out on the boards.

http://www.koya.co.uk/

London Restaurant Find: Koya | meltingbutter.com

Inside Koya – Photo: Courtesy of Koya

 

MAYFIELDS, HACKNEY

A tiny little gem out by London Fields. Impeccable cooking that feels very neighborhood.

http://mayfieldswiltonway.co.uk/

Mayfields | The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats | meltingbutter.com

Inside Mayfields – Photo: Courtesy of Mayfields

 

BRAWN, SHOREDITCH

Massive natural wine list. Possibly the nicest room to sit in and the flower market for colour.

http://www.brawn.co/index.html

Brawn | The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats | meltingbutter.com

Inside Brawn – Photo: Courtesy of Brawn

 

MANGAL, DALSTON

Gawp at Gilbert and George as they chat over grilled meats. I cycle past here everyday and the ocakbasi smell makes me drool.

http://www.mangal1.com/

Mangal | The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats | meltingbutter.com

Ocakbasi – Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/elliotsmith/

 

GUJARATI RASOI, DALSTON

Miniature Indian with real love for veggies and a scattering of fish dishes.

http://www.gujaratirasoi.com/

Gujarati Rasoi | The Curators: L’Entrepot Head Chef Patrick Hanna’s Top London Eats | meltingbutter.com

Ouside Gujarati Rasoi – Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/everydaylifestyle/

 

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