Before you go to a restaurant, what do you want — or need — to know most? In The Rundown, we’re sharing all the essentials about newly opened (as well as favourite) Resy restaurants in London.
This month, we’re taking a look at the highly anticipated Sunday in Brooklyn, a legendary NYC restaurant which soft launched recently, and is now open for indoor and outdoor dining.
What is it? And why should I be excited?
The restaurant is the first international outpost (and the second site ever) of a beloved Brooklyn restaurant of the same name. The original launched in 2016 in Williamsburg, New York to some fanfare, with some key industry veterans behind it – namely, Todd Enany and Adam Landsman of Major Food Group (you have them to thank for Carbone, amongst others), and chef Jaime Young, who cooked at the acclaimed two-starred Atera. The restaurant quickly drew queues for its superlative brunches and inventive American fare – no mean feat in a city that doesn’t lack for either.
The new London restaurant, found on a picturesque two-storey corner site on Westbourne Grove, emulates the spirit of its predecessor, with most of the menu brought over from the US. In particular, the restaurant’s malted pancakes weren’t just one of NYC’s most photogenic dishes, but also universally regarded as delicious to boot. Meanwhile, a plush, light-filled dining room, standout cocktails and natural wines, and warm hospitality round out a polished dining experience.
Besides the fluffiest pancakes on earth, what else is on the menu?
The Sunday PancakesTM, a citywide phenomenon that spawned a thousand tags on Instagram, are an obvious hero dish, and delicious in a way that few dishes popular on social media actually are. Malt powder adds nuttiness to the pancakes, while buttermilk in the mix imparts lightness and a slight tang. The syrup – a hazelnut maple praline blend – consists of a roasted hazelnut butter mixed with maple syrup, and cooks completely fill the pan with pancake mix, forcing the mixture to rise. A triple stack for the table rarely goes amiss.
There’s also a top-tier egg sandwich, another favourite menu item that’s made the transition to London. Loaded with scrambled eggs, crispy fried potato sticks, cheddar, and gochujang aioli on a soft roll (omnivores should add a sausage patty), it’s an ode to the sandwiches Young grew up eating on Long Island. There are also NYC-style brunch favourites like biscuits and gravy and a smoked fish plate, as well as breezy salads and grain bowls and an excellent house burger.
“There’s probably a lot more in common between Notting Hill and Williamsburg than people might realise these days”
– Todd Enany
“By and large it is the New York menu,” Enany says. “We’re really looking to bring our Brooklyn vibe to London, and let people really experience it all. But saying that, we have tried to appeal to London sensibilities. We were excited to create new dishes and tweak existing ones, for London; tastes and ideas that we knew would suit the London audience.” Those new dishes include a beef tartare with cured yolk, or a pork secreto with an aromatic curry leaf gremolata. Meanwhile, a ‘proper dinner’ menu promises classic NYC plates with a twist, like a whole smoked chicken with Herbs de Provence and fries, grilled swordfish, and crab and artichoke dip.
Drinks-wise, cocktails have always been an integral part of the experience, and an inventive line-up (with playful presentation; see Honeybear on Holiday) offers classic flavours with a twist. Meanwhile, a zeitgeisty all-natural wine list keeps pace with diners’ expectations.
What’s with the location?
Co-founder Enany says it best: “We fell in love with the site on Westbourne Grove. It’s a beautiful cover site with huge windows and flooded with natural light. It felt like an ideal location for us – very different to our Williamsburg home but with a relaxed, homely vibe that we connected with.”
“Secondly, we loved the neighbourhood – there’s probably a lot more in common between Notting Hill and Williamsburg than people might realise these days! Notting Hill has a sense of community and family that fits perfectly with the ethos of Sunday in Brooklyn,” he continues.
Realising the restaurant hasn’t been without its share of challenges though, especially amid a hospitality staffing crisis, Brexit, and of course, the small matter of a global pandemic. “Obviously, the lack of travel between London and New York has been very difficult. In an ideal world we would have been back and forth a lot more,” he says. “Making decisions over Zoom isn’t always the best but luckily, we have a fantastic team over in London who understand the brand and have been doing a great job getting us up and running.”
Speaking of the team, who’s in the kitchen?
While Paul Punch, their head chef in New York, has flown in and is on hand to lead the launch period in London , the back of house team in Notting Hill will consist of head chef Esteve Prats, who previously worked at Aubaine, Tom Aikens Group, and The Betterment, Jason Atherton’s fine dining temple in Mayfair. Accompanying him on the pans is chef Carlos Gutierrez, formerly of Nieves Barragan’s Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant Sabor.
“Let’s just say, the London kitchen is in very capable and exciting hands,” Enany smiles.
What’s it like inside?
The New York restaurant was known for its photogenic interiors, with a kaleidoscope of details that added to a curated, cosy feel. The team worked with a London-based design studio to bring that vision to life in Notting Hill, and have “the best features of [the] Williamsburg site in London, but also have updated the look and feel to fit the neighbourhood.”
Details like exposed brick and tiling behind the bar are a tip of the hat to the Brooklyn location of the original, while floor-to-ceiling windows flood the room with natural light, making for breezy breakfasts and brunches throughout the week. A beautiful green hanging ceiling creates a natural centrepiece in the dining room, adding to the indoor-outdoor vibe. Most importantly, perhaps, is the addition of a communal table for gatherings and to facilitate impromptu exchanges. “Given the fantastic community vibe of Notting Hill, we wanted to bring that feeling of neighbourhood into the restaurant,” Enany says. “And bringing people together over food and a drink feels more important than ever right now.”
Sunday in Brooklyn is now open for dinner. Make a reservation here.