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London calling

An iconic South African restaurant brand arrives in London’s popular new riverside precinct.
tashas

London’s burgeoning Battersea Power Station development 
is home to the newest branch of tashas, the beloved South African restaurant group known for its unpretentious, freshly-prepared comfort food served in aesthetically comforting spaces.

‘I feel like we now have the right team and processes in place to be a part of London’s incredible food scene,’ says Natasha Sideris, who opened her first tashas in Atholl, Johannesburg, in 2005. The group has in recent years made successful inroads into the Middle East and continues to expand at home. ‘London is a very big step for us, one that we’ve contemplated for a long time.’

Sideris says she has ‘something of a gut feel’ for what will work – and where. She regards Battersea as having found London’s sweet spot, a prize location.

tashas

‘When looking for new sites, we search for those close to a city centre or a hub with a residential clientele,’ she says. ‘We need the housewives, we need the ladies who lunch, we need people who are picking up their kids from school and coming to have a bite to eat. We need the businesspeople as well. Battersea is ideal in that regard. I think it’s less competitive than the rest of London as it is a new development. All the other areas we’d like to go to like Marylebone, Chelsea, Mayfair, the high streets and those types of areas are pretty saturated.

‘We’ve got an unbelievable spot in the precinct, too, next to the biggest Zara in London. It’s an iconic building and we’re near one of the main entrances to the development. I don’t think you can get any better.’

And as much as it’s a new food audience, the bones of the London store are unmistakably ‘tashas’, its design an update of the look and feel of the Atholl original: dark chocolate-coloured timber walls, intricate mosaic tiles on the floor, marble and brass accents throughout, high-gloss textured stucco walls, sculptural pieces by Cape Town foundry Bronze Age, and a delicate paper installation by Elonah O’Neil. You might feel 
as though you’ve stepped inside a cappuccino.

tashas

Foodwise, it’s a mix of classic ‘fan favourites’ and new dishes developed for London, plus an entirely fresh beverage menu with options ranging from matcha-infused health drinks to boozy cocktails, something to match the multiple moods of its all-day dining concept.
What’s likely to make regulars of Londoners is that honest striving for excellence that Sideris and her brother Savva have made the backbone of their restaurants. ‘I think what people love is our overarching, relentless attention to detail,’ says Sideris. ‘In everything we do, there’s a magical alchemy that our guests really appreciate. I hope this genuine approach of ours will appeal to our UK customers.’

tashascafe.com

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