There probably aren’t too many restaurateurs who would open their third venue and then immediately launch into their fourth. A really ambitious fourth at that. But such is the drive of Andy Freeman and Sam Astbury that the business partners and their team took it all in their stride when they recently opened The Flour Factory.
I actually enjoyed a raspberry and white chocolate muffin from TFF on their second morning of operation and it was very pleasant. But the plans for this multi-story place extend far beyond the humble muffin. I got to hear from the man himself recently about some of the plans for the future:
- The bar upstairs will be called The Sherry and will be focused on sherry based cocktails and fortifieds
- The Flour Factory team is working with Howard Park on their own vermouth
- The venue is seeking an increase in capacity to over 400
- After Kate and Abel leaves at the end of the year, TFF will have another pop up shop move in but after the retail space goes the bar license will also extend into the area
- TFF is extending the bar downstairs and there’ll be a giant pizza oven for dine in and take away pizza options – this sounds pretty darn good for someone who works nearby and looooooves pizza!
- They will have a bakery downstairs
- There will be a butcher in the basement for all their in house charcuterie
- Head bacon “De-boned pig head stuffed with house bacon and bratwurst” will soon be featuring on the menu
- The Head Chef, Matt Carulei, was previously the sous chef at Varnish but ran the kitchen when Head Chef David Allison wasn’t around. At 21 he ran the kitchen at The Wine Store and is now Head Chef at The Flour Factory at 24
- The Pastry Chef, Brendan Owen was previously the Head Pastry Chef at Vue de Monde and the Vue de Monde group at 22; he’s 25 now
While hearing about all these exciting plans and more details about the venue, we were treated to a Cobble, “Amontillado, Hennessy VS, maraschino, gomme, berries, & peach bitters. Served over rocks with fresh mint, blueberries and orange oil”, a sneak peak at the sherry based cocktails they’ll be serving up at The Sherry.
Also on offer was a SGROPPINO, Tosti Dry Vermouth whisked with lemon sorbet, aromatic Peychauds bitters, and prosecco. Served in a frosty flute with fresh thyme, which I think I actually preferred of the two. Just loved the fresh thyme infusion.
And to go along with the cocktails we were given the chance to sample some of their charcuterie, which included:
- RULIANO PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA
- JAMON SERRANO
- LOGANIZA NEGRA
House Made Meats
- SPICED VEAL TONGUE
- HOUSE SMOKED BACON
- HEAD BACON
- SQUID INK CHORIZO
- SAPORINI DI LANGA
- PONT L’EVEQUE
- PERLA NERA AL TARTUFO
- CROPWELL BISHOP STILTON
- EXTRAVAGANT TRIPLE CREAM
And the favourite? Lambcetta all the way. And not to take away from the other cold meats but the lamb had been taken to another level of awesomeness! It was a definite hit among the group. And despite the slightly confronting name Head Bacon is also very delicious! Go the ‘nose to tail’ I say!
Then there were hotdogs and both options were gobbled up by the eager guests.
- BRAT- The Flour Factory Bratwurst, homemade sauerkraut, dill pickle.
- CHORIPAN – The Flour Factory Chorizo, chimmichurri, crispy onions.
The Pastry Chef extraordinaire then presented an array of treats of the sweet persuasion and it was an impressive spread. Gotta love the creativity of the Maclair (plus any excuse to eat four macarons in a sitting is a big win in my book) and then all that decadent Valorna chocolate on the caramel slice and the indulgent salted caramel and chocolate muffins. Oh we would all be leaving on a massive sugar high…… and loving it!
- ORANGE AND LEMON CURD CAKE- Garnished with a candied orange. Gluten free.
- MOMOFUKU CRACK PIE- Our take on the Momofuku Crack Pie. 7 sugars and oats.
- VALRHONA CARAMEL SLICE – Guanaja 70% dark chocolate, milk, and golden syrup.
- VALRHONA CHOCOLATE CAKE – Valrhona Opalys 33% chocolate ganache and salted caramel.
- MAC-LAIRS- A macaron and éclair hybrid.
What a night! I was thoroughly impressed! I am really looking forward to heading back soon. It’s an amazing crew running the venue, mixing up the drinks and creating all the fabulous food. With all their big plans ahead, I am sure that The Flour Factory is going to go from strength to strength into 2015.
Thank you for the invitation.