The rise of the pop-up at the Sun & 13 Cantons
Once the hub of the Soho-based Film & Television industry, and now famed for it’s music, The Sun & 13 Cantons pop-up restaurants are helping it become the hottest place in town for food, enjoying rave reviews from customers and the press alike.
The term “pop up restaurant” was practically non-existent just a few short years ago. Now, the pop-up restaurants or ‘supperclubs’ are a popular and fantastic way for chefs to showcase their talents.
Over the past 4 years, managed by Pascal Barker, The Sun & 13 Cantons have hosted established chefs such as Adam Rawson (Head chef at Pachamama), Andy Cook (Head Chef at The Savoy Grill) and Matthew Bishop (Head Chef at Gordon Ramsey’s Maze). One of the most successful pop-ups at the Sun & 13 Cantons has been Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express
ASMA KHAN – DARJEELING EXPRESS
Pascal recalls “Asma did an initial 3 month pop-up in the spring of 2014. While still a relative newcomer on the supperclub scene and still essentially a home taught chef, her talent for delicately spiced Mughal and Calcutta street food cuisine was hard to ignore. So much so that we invited her back for an 8 month residency in the summer of 2015 to launch the newly refurbished Sun & 13 Cantons.“
“While with us she featured in articles from FT Magazine, Tom Parker Bowles in the Daily Mail and The Evening Standard’s leading food critic Fay Maschler’s even placed The Darjeeling Express into the top 10 best restaurants of 2015. Asma has since gone on to open her very own restaurant, Darjeeling Express, just around the corner from us in Kingly Court. And just last week launched Calcutta Canteen in Fulham which focuses on Calcuttan street food.”
MATT YOUNG – SOCIAL MEAT CLUB / ROK
Another pop-up alumni to go onto great success is Matt Young. Matt was at the Sun & 13 Cantons with Social Meat Club in the winter of 2014. During this time Matt received great reviews the press - including the Independent and Culture Whisper. And having experimented with his take on Scandinavian influenced cuisine, he then went on to open ROK in Shoreditch. He has now opened a ROK in Islington with another is in the pipeline in Soho later this year.
CLAUDE COMPTON – FANNY’S KEBABS
Brought to the Sun & 13 Canton’s by Claude Compton, head chef of Claude’s Kitchen, ‘Fanny’s Kebabs’ were a hugely popular pop-up, making freshly-made smoked kebabs created with well sourced organic meat and produce. With great reviews in Timeout magazine, they went on to open their first restaurant in Stoke Newington in late 2017 and are due to open a second in West London later this year.
JOSHUA LEVY / FABIAN CLARKE – CLAW
In the winter of 2016 ‘Claw’ took up residence and were extremely popular. During their tenure at the Sun & 13, under the guidance of young chef Josh Levy, Claw were able to expand from their street food crab rolls beginnings to a broader more sophisticated restaurant style menu. From here they were able to secure a site nearby on Kingly St, with reviews from the Evening Standard “Seafood sensation brings cracking crab to Carnaby” and Just Opened London explaining "It's all about the crab" ‘Claw’ have gone from strength to strength.
MANDY YIN – SAMBAL SHIOK
Sambal Shiok were a Malay pop-up that proved very popular. Mandy explains “I take inspiration from everything I ate in my childhood growing up in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Then I mix it up and put a new slant on it.” Featuring in articles from The Guardian and Timeout, Sambal Shiok are about to open their first restaurant on Holloway Road.
General Manager, Pascal is very proud that a host of up and coming chefs have gone onto starting their own restaurants soon after their residencies in the vibrant Soho bar. So why not pop down to the pop-up at the Sun & 13 Cantons.