Be warned. This post may make you drool or break out in meat sweats. Making the journey from street-food pop up, to permanent restaurant in East London, we speak to Alex Kaye, founder of Walter and Monty, to find out about the new opening later this month. We guarantee this is a meat-packed, charcoal cooking spot you won’t want to miss…
From street food to restaurant: what did you learn along the way?
Face-to-face interaction with customers allowed us to learn what was really important to them – we were able to try out lots of menu items and we will be bringing the real crowd pleasers to the restaurant. It also allowed us to trial out suppliers and recipes. When I was hiring I met Nick Ross (head chef) – he came with his fine-dining expertise and was trained by a 3 Michelin Star chef so we decided to step things up.
Tell us about the Eastern flavours that will be on the menu…
Deep flavours and long marinades, cooked on charcoal. The meat is always well seasoned and you will see a lot of garlic, lemon, coriander, cumin, parsley, paprika, sesame, and loads of olive oil.
I don’t think meat can taste better than when it is cooked over coal. You will find me in the garden cooking on the BBQ all year round.
Where did the inspiration come from?
My grandfather was a butcher in the East end of London (Monty). And my wife’s grandfather was a butcher up North (Walter) – this might well be the reason! I am meat obsessed and love simple food cooked well, I don’t think meat can taste better than when it is cooked over coal. You will find me in the garden cooking on the BBQ all year round. If I get wet and have to wear gloves, I don’t care – it’s worth it in the end!
New salads on the block, what was the reason for introducing these along with the meat?
Meat is the winner on our plates, as it is on most plates, but I think nothing complements meat better than fresh salads and veg. Too often in the UK you will find red meat served with heavy carbs – I don’t agree with this. I think the limited space in one’s stomach should be filled with proteins.
What are must-tries for guests?
Picanha (known in the UK as top sirloin) is a cut best known in South America – it is soft as butter with much more flavour than the tender cuts such as fillet. The hunk of meat is marinated for 36 hours and cooked straight on hot coals. The hunk of meat (1-1.5 kgs) is chopped down on a parsley, lemon and peppercorn dressed board, served with a garlic and feta dressing.
The other must try is the Cauliflower Salad: 50% roasted cauliflower, 50% deep-fried cauliflower, brown butter croutons, crispy pancetta, shaved parmesan cheese and cumin vinaigrette.
Where do you source your meat and fish from?
Our meat is from Smithfield and our fish from Billingsgate.
Your best cooking tip for charcoal lovers…
Build your briquettes in a pyramid and let the coal go white. If you can stand in front of the BBQ with your arm held out straight in front of you and keep it there for a few seconds… it’s not hot enough!
Your favourite London street-food places to visit…
Summer Tales, Kerb, Broadway Market and Borough Market.
Describe the new restaurant design in three words…
Decadent. Vintage. Industrial.
Walter and Monty | 6 Bury Court, London EC3A 8EP
Walter and Monty opens 14 April. Don’t miss FREE lunch 14-15 April, 11.30-2.30pm (walk-ins only).