Paladar A Latin American tour de force
Resplendent with the rich flavours and atmosphere of Latin America, Paladar Restaurant at St George’s Circus, London SE1, specialises in Latin American creative sharing plates and is located within a Georgian listed building.
The word ‘paladar’ in both Spanish and Portuguese means ‘palate’ and the restaurant is named after this, referring to taste, appetite and appreciating the finer things in life. In Cuba a paladar is also a small, privately-run restaurant with character – which is exactly what the project is all about.
While London has an increasing number of restaurants dedicated to the cuisines of Latin America’s individual countries, Paladar brings something new to the city’s restaurant landscape, focusing on bringing together the best food, drink and culture of the whole of Latin America, rather than just one country. The restaurant also celebrates the best drinks from the region, with an exclusively Latin American wine list and spirits/cocktail list.
Main contractors for the project to create the new venue were Central London Builders, with the interior design concept being created by the owners of the restaurant themselves.
The space was previously occupied by an Italian restaurant, which had been in situ for more than a quarter of a century, and the premises needed a full refurb. Initial works included stripping out the original interior and the installation of a completely new electrical system, as well as some structural strengthening works (it was discovered that one of the internal walls was unsafe).
Charles Tyler, director and one of the owners of the restaurant said: “There was a lot more work than we initially expected, and this presented a challenge. We wanted to create an opening through a party wall to link the two sides of the building, but when we removed the plaster, we found that there was a huge concrete lintel with a small doorway already there.
“However we also discovered that the wall was unsafe and it almost collapsed, so we had to build a engineering brick pillar to support the existing lintel. Another unsafe wall to the rear of the building also had to be strengthened and we had to replace the entire extraction ducting to the roof. Further significant works included fitting a bespoke new heritage shop front in dark coloured wood to the whole frontage of the ground floor.”
The building is double-fronted with the right-hand side incorporating the main restaurant, which features a seating area to the front, with a Rimex copper effect and stainless steel bar counter with a dark wood back bar as a focal point. Other design features include copper effect light shades and bespoke wooden furniture. Toilets are located to the rear and there is a door leading into a courtyard garden.
The restaurant walls are white and decorated with numerous Latin American artworks, with the rear wall featuring a full height Latin American themed painted mural. At the front of left hand side of the building is the Bodega coffee shop serving drinks and snacks, with design features including a colour palette of duck egg blue and chocolate, display shelving showcasing wines and coffees for sale, bespoke wooden furniture and a pass counter leading to the kitchen behind. The Bodega is used as a chef’s table in the evening, where diners can sit and watch their food being prepared. Both the restaurant and Bodega feature porcelain tile wood effect flooring.
The rear courtyard garden is currently being landscaped and will include tables and chairs, a soft seating area, electric heaters and parasols.
Charles Tyler concluded: “The main contractors were a pleasure to work with. They did a good job with excellent attention to detail; the venue is proving popular and we are pleased with the response.”
Paladar’s menu includes dishes such as: Sea bass ceviche with passionfruit tiger’s milk and cassava crisps; Tuna tartare and quinoa tian with taro crisp and chipotle mayonnaise; Grilled 28-day aged sirloin steak with corn bread and chimichurri; Roast chicken with chocolate-chilli sauce; rice and white onion pickle; Fried Colombian baby potatoes with huacatay butter; Roast aubergine and fried beans with black sauce, and Maya hummus and palm heart tiradito with aguachile; sweetcorn and jalapeño pickle.
Desserts include Smooth bread pudding made with coconut & sweet potato with a rum glaze; Soursop mousse with a fresh mango & passionfruit glaze and Blue corn churros with coffee dulce de leche and chocolate sauce.
The seed for Paladar was sown when Charles Tyler headed to Latin America in 2013 and was blown away by the quality of the wines and spirits, the delicious local cuisine, the friendly people and the energy and zest of the continent.
The lure of Latin America refused to go away, with the thought of showcasing the products and experiences he had found never far from his mind. This idea was encouraged by his close group of friends from the hospitality industry, many of whom were from Latin America – and who are now his business partners.
Paladar is at 4-5 London Road, London SE1 6JZ.
Central London Builders Ltd
Central London Builders Ltd is an experienced, flexible contractor focusing on projects within Central London. The company works across a wide range of disciplines, from roofing and special paint finishes to fibre glassing and metalwork, for fit-out and refurbishment projects.
Having recently completed Hammer and Tongs – a South African restaurant in Clerkenwell – and a 13,000sq ft office for ecommerce company, Paddle, Central London Builders Ltd is currently working on a top quality Sloane Street multi-user office creating meeting booths, building glass partitions and decorative hardwood demarcation screens for the common areas.
Central London Builders Ltd is also working on a design and build project in a Bermondsey warehouse and undertaking a design and build project at Private Eye’s offices just off Soho Square. The company recently completed work on Paladar Restaurant at St George’s Circus.
Eric Pedersen, Central London Builders Ltd, said:
“At Central London Builders Ltd, we pride ourselves on our good relationships – between our core team, with our tried and tested subcontractors and with our clients. Having good relationships makes the difference between enjoying the process and struggling through each day.”