Morchella: team behind hit London restaurant Perilla to open venture in Exmouth Market

A-team: Morchella will launch in February (Morchella)
A-team: Morchella will launch in February (Morchella)

The team behind Newington Green hotspot Perilla is to open a new restaurant in Exmouth market early next year.

Chef-patron Ben Marks and restaurateur Matthew Emmerson have teamed up with Daniel Fletcher for the project, a Great British Menu veteran who last cooked at 28 Market Place in Somerset.

The trio will launch Mochella in February, a restaurant and wine bar on Exmouth Market and serving a “modern interpretation of classic Mediterranean dishes.” It’s a more specific concept to Perilla, which is pan-European. Diners should expect the likes of octopus luciana, salt baked poussin, and hake with sobrassada sauce.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be opening in Clerkenwell,” said Marks. “We feel we’ve found a beautiful site and put together a really talented and experienced team.”

An announcement said the dining room at Morchella will be a “tranquil yet informal space,” while produce will be sourced from artisanal suppliers on the Continent alongside independent British fishers and farmers. Wines will come from the likes of Newcomers, Keeling Andrew, and Dynamic Vines.

The team told the Standard their latest venture had been a “long time coming” and added that their aim is to open a neighbourhood restaurant that caters for the local community, as well as visitors from farther afield. “We wanted to keep some of what is so special about Perilla, and for us that meant maintaining a friendly neighbourhood approach. Therefore it was integral we opened Morchella in a busy area with a real sense of community. Exmouth Market already has one of the most vibrant food cultures we’ve found across London and ticked all the boxes for our neighbourhood requirement,” Emmerson said.

He added: “We hope Morchella will be an extension of the vibrant community we've built at Perilla. We're bringing that same neighbourhood warmth to Exmouth Market, with exceptional food and great wines.”

And Fletcher, back in London after a stint in the Westcountry, said: “I am really excited to be joining Ben and Matt on this journey, and to get started cooking the food I enjoy eating. It is something we have been planning as a team for a long time and it is wonderful seeing everything come to fruition.”

Morchella will open in February 2024 at 84-86 Rosebury Avenue, EC1R 4QY,, @morchelladining