A couple of days before it officially opens its doors to the public on May 14, Tatler Dining got an exclusive first look at Ember, which brings you humble, approachable and understandable food. With a menu inspired by a variety of cuisines, Boutwood proudly serves uncomplicated fare marked by his dedication to quality produce and cooking techniques.
“It initially began as a combination of Savage and The Test Kitchen but then evolved into its own concept,” he shared. With a dash of Test Kitchen’s produce forward focus, and a sprinkling of Savage’s back-to-basics mantra on cooking methods, Ember embodies the best of both of the other restaurants’ philosophies, yet has its own distinct identity.
To start things off, Ember’s interiors are strikingly different from any of his other establishments. Its unconventional shape beautifully accommodates a curved bar counter where diners can eat, facing the dynamic open kitchen filled with young brilliant culinary talents. Speckled floors, deep grey, pops of red, and silver details capture your eye, with the use of curved mirrors and organic shapes to boot. The space was conceptualised by Headroom Interiors and the very hands-on Mr Boutwood himself. “I don’t want to cook in a restaurant that I am not comfortable in,” he comments—who can blame him?
“Our mentalities very similar. They don’t think in straight lines either and we wanted to see curvature. We wanted the design to contrast our cooking almost,” Boutwood explains. Its soft, almost feminine elegance, juxtaposes the somewhat masculine menu. Ember has a distinct retro look that does not go overboard, which clearly is an indication of the playful, sophistication that you are to expect from his menu and growth as a chef.
See also: Meet Sarap London by Budgie Montoya