Mountain Restaurant, Beak Street

16-18 Beak Street
United Kingdom

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After finding cult success and a Michelin star with Brat, Tomos Parry is back with the opening of Mountain in Soho, and has Londoners coming out in droves for his superlative live-fire cooking.

What’s the draw

Some chefs simply just have it, that undefinable special something that drives diners crazy, and Tomos Parry definitely has it. He received a Michelin star in almost record time for Brat, his first restaurant which serves as an homage to the bold flavours of smoke-licked Basque-style cooking, and has brought that successful format to Soho in a larger, livelier space.

That’s not to say that Mountain is a copy and pasted version of Brat. It’s clear the restaurants exist in the same culinary universe, but Mountain feels like a bolshier younger sibling, a little more loud, a touch more fun, a whisper less serious. The menu is lengthy, with an expansive selection of snacks to whet the whistle, and, unsurprisingly, a focus on incredible quality meat and fish simply charred over the grill.

The restaurant itself is a former Byron Burger, although you wouldn’t guess it with the chic fit out it’s been given. Upstairs is airy and undeniably commanded by the open kitchen, where tables sit around the centre of the room, flanked on either side by a series of counters and high-top tables usually reserved for walk-ins. Downstairs is a little more intimate, with bar seating that Parry tells us is the perfect spot to retreat to for a change of scene and a nightcap when dessert time rolls around.

What to drink

Given the culinary influence here, it should come as no surprise that there’s a heavy vermouth influence on the menu, and what better way to kick things off than with a spritz, or a vermouth and soda, or a negroni, or a… well, you get the picture. Vermouth in any outfit is the aperitif of choice here. Moving onto the well-built wine list, it would be difficult to go wrong, but with a well-sourced selection of bottles from the region the food takes influence from, you’d be smart to opt for a Spanish drop. As a blackboard by the front door makes clear, the wine list is made up of over 500 bottles so there’s more than enough to choose from.

What to eat

In short: everything. You could easily build a robust and delightful meal simply from the snacks selection, and no one would blame you, but it’s worth keeping space for something from the grill. Parry and his team are able to do with fish what many aren’t, and are working with the freshest seafood that arrives overnight from fishermen around the country, so ordering a whole fish when it’s on the menu is almost a prerequisite.

Definitely kick things off with the raw sobrasada and honey, a spicy, salty and sweet flavour bomb that is a strong contender for one of the best bites in London right now. Don’t look past the fresh cheese and raw prawns, the dish that has Londoners agog (with good reason). Grilled vine leaves come stuffed with umami-laded minced mushrooms, and a surprising crescendo of flavour comes from the walnut bread with peach and bottarga.

You could easily come to Mountain multiple times and have a different meal with each visit. Whether you opt for a medley of snacks, or simply a central wood fired protein with a bunch of sides to accompany it (the wood fired rice is a must), you’ll leave satiated and happy with a hankering to book your next visit, and quick.

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