Renowned chef, restaurateur and cook book author Mark Sargeant has unveiled his latest project, a modern brasserie called Morden & Lea.
The recently opened restaurant in Soho marks the first time that Mark Sargeant has worked on the launch of a new restaurant in Central London, with a venue that draws inspiration from Sargeant’s wealth of experience in the restaurant sector.
Mark Sargeant’s career spans more than 20 years and includes 13 years working alongside Gordon Ramsay, seven of these as head chef at Claridge’s. In addition he has previously operated two successful solo restaurants Rocksalt and The Smokehouse in his home county of Kent.
Morden & Lea takes its name from historic London cartographers Robert Morden and Philip Lea, the first people to map out the area now known as Soho, back in the 17th century. The restaurant is split across two floors, with downstairs offering a casual and relaxed, no reservations atmosphere.
The 62-cover space serves a varied menu of individual savouries, charcuterie and snacks with a brunch menu available on Sunday. Sargeant uses the best of British ingredients to create a range of dishes and there is also a selection of open tartines on offer, each served on a choice of fresh bread with creative toppings such as ‘Broad bean, pea & pecorino’ or the classic ‘Pissaladiere’.
The food is enjoyed with a carefully selected list of Old World and European wines, and a concise and seasonally-changing cocktail menu, as well as a selection of craft beers and Redchurch Pale Ale on tap. Meanwhile, Downstairs at Morden & Lea provides the perfect place for a relaxed catch-up with friends, a drink and quick bite after work. Designed by March & White, the restaurant interiors offer a friendly, sociable and comfortable environment any time of the day or evening, reflecting the vibrancy and eclectic nature of its Soho locale.
Upstairs at Morden & Lea has a more refined air, with an affordable fixed priced brasserie-style dinner menu and set lunch menu, created by Sargeant and Morden & Lea head chef Daniel Mertl.
The dinner menu delivers stylish contemporary dishes using the best of local and Great British produce. Mains include ‘Roast Goosnargh duck with garlic potatoes, roast peach, broccoli, almonds & chilli’ and ‘Grilled Cornish mullet with spelt, mussels & bok choy’, whilst desserts such as ‘Set milk chocolate with hazelnuts, milk sorbet & coffee sherbet’ and ‘Gypsy tart’ cater for those with a sweet tooth.
The interior of the restaurant is deceptively bright and airy for what appears to be a typically narrow Soho building from the outside, with natural light flooding in from a glass atrium and guests able to dine whilst looking out onto Soho and neighbouring China Town. An intimate cocktail bar for one or two pre-prandials, leather-clad booths and a private dining room for up to eight people, ensures upstairs at Morden & Lea is the ideal spot for a leisurely lunch or a sit-down dinner with friends, family or work colleagues.
Commented ahead of the launch, Mark Sargeant, said:
“I am extremely excited to be working with the team at Morden & Lea on the launch of my first official central London restaurant. Having been involved with the project from the outset, it was great to see it finally come together. Soho is the perfect location and hope that the dual-offering of a brasserie-style menu served in the upstairs restaurant and a more-relaxed casual sharing menu served downstairs, will appeal to both London foodies and visitors to the capital alike.”
Morden & Lea is open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday and brunch on Sundays.
For more information please visit: www.mordenandlea.com.