The Engine Rooms: First look at new restaurant in classic car showroom

·2-min read
 (Charlie McKay)
(Charlie McKay)

First pictures have been released of the Engine Rooms, the newly-opened restaurant in a classic car dealership famous for its stock of near-priceless vintage motors.

Sat alongside Bottles ‘N’ Jars – the wine shop and deli looked after by drinks writer and former Clove Club sommelier Bert Blaize – the Engine Rooms is a Mediterranean-inspired spot with former Taka Marylebone chef James Harrison heading the kitchen.

Harrison told the Standard the three dishes diners should look out for are the grey mullet ceviche with confit tomato dressing, cured egg yolk, samphire and pistachio; monkfish tail glazed in miso and soy, cooked using a robata grill; and a burrata pizza, which is topped with garlic mascarpone, wild mushrooms, aged parmesan and finished with chive oil.

The chef said that opening the restaurant with the twin obstacles of the pandemic and Brexit had been “challenging but fun”. He added: “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the whole team, especially my sous chef Michelangelo.

“Opening a restaurant in Zone Three at this time has its benefits, we already have a loyal and engaged local following living and working from home in the area.”

Harrison added that, besides the food, he expected the showroom to prove a draw. Hexagon Classics has a reputation as one of Europe’s top vintage dealerships for its rare and exotic collection; at present, among those for sale is a 1961 Mercedes 300SL for £1.1m; a hand-built Allard J2X roadster, and a £350,000 Aston Martin V8 Vantage from 1985 that’s been driven fewer than 8,600 miles in its 36-year life. Hexagon is owned and operated by Paul Michaels; his late wife curated the showroom’s modern art. The couple’s children have picked the artwork for the restaurant.

“The Engine Rooms is a genuinely special destination. There aren’t many places that can seamlessly bring together two different worlds but at The Engine Rooms it seems to make perfect sense,” Harrison said, “My hopes are the restaurant will become a favourite destination for many – locals and those from further afield, and a place where all people can come and enjoy the best of seasonal British produce cooked by a group of talented, caring chefs.”

Besides the main dining room, there is a mezzanine level, and a heated courtyard with an electric canopy that will offer year-round dining.

The Engine Rooms is open now at 82-92 Great North Rd, N2. For more information, visit theenginerooms.co.uk

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