We take a look at the boundary-pushing restaurant that won over the doubters
NUMBER 20 King Street is a location with history. Before Tast opened there in July last year it was inhabited by the short-lived Suri, preceded by the equally blink-and-you-missed-it Quill.
Tast is about to outlive them both with celebrations for its first birthday coming up in August. So what did it do right when others went wrong?
Unsurprisingly, the sheer quality of the cooking played a big part. Tast belongs to Michelin-star chef Paco Perez who already has three leading restaurants to his name. His bold take on Catalan cuisine is exciting, mesmerising even, thanks to the intensity of the flavours his chefs somehow manage to coax out in each and every ingredient. The presentation gets your attention too. It's hard to think or talk of anything other than the food when you're dining here.
Another reason Tast has succeeded where others have failed? It wasn't afraid to change when something didn't work. The crisp, light décor got darker and warmer to suit our Northern European tastes. And the chefs brought in dishes based on Catalan 'grandma' cooking for those who wanted something a little more traditional on their plates.
Upstairs at new restaurant Tast Enxaneta, the dishes are as weird and wonderful as ever. Check out Gordo's recent review of the tasting menu. 9.5 out of 10 for food. 4 out of 5 for atmosphere. 5 out of 5 for service.
That's three good reasons why Tast has thrived throughout that difficult first year in a restaurant's life.
It's something to celebrate, and the Catalans know how to put on a party. This Sunday 21 July, they'll be holding their first birthday celebrations with superb Catalan food and drink, live music, and a few surprises. It's happening from 1pm-7pm and tickets are £40.
Here's the ticket link if you'd like to be there.