What inspired you to open up a restaurant?
I have been always been in love with the hospitality industry. I was thrown into it literally from my birth. When I was a baby my parents ran the Blues 2000 club in Hamburg, and I slept most nights in the beer cellar there, saving on a baby sitter. So hospitality always ran deep in my blood, and when I decided after almost 15 years in investment banking to look at moving on, this was a natural step.
Counter is London’s longest restaurant
What is unique about the restaurant?
It’s all about the location. We are London’s longest restaurant, filling an entire arch under Vauxhall Station. As of this weekend, we are now ‘One arch, two bars & restaurants’. Counter Bar & Brasserie is inspired by the grande brasseries in New York. We serve American breakfasts and brunch, and then French-inspired all-day dining. It’s a really versatile venue, flipping effortlessly from a loud, fast paced, fun boozy brunch service to a seductive Saturday date night haven. On the other end of the arch we have just opened Counter Termini, our homage to Milan and la dolce vita. We focus on wood fired pizzas, delicious antipasti and great cocktails.
Hearty dishes aplenty
How do you select the menu for the restaurant? and What is your signature dish that everyone has to try?
I am blessed to have a great head chef, Mahrez Loukal. He trained with Alain Ducasse and was head chef at Quaglino’s and Chez Bruce. We totally share our vision of making Counter one of London’s fines brasseries and Termini a great meeting place for the neighbourhood.
Nothing beats a good wine pairing
Why did you choose Vauxhall for the restaurant?
Vauxhall is probably one of London’s most diverse neighbourhoods. It’s full of gays, spies and everyone in between. So it’s a really fun area – Londoners have come to the Pleasure Garden for over 200 years to enjoy themselves. At the same time it had an obvious gap for a great restaurant to be a centre for the neighbourhood and to move Vauxhall forward as the area goes through another renaissance as a core part of Central London.
Counter is well know for its fresh seafood sourced from the world famous Billingsgate market.
What would you say has been the most memorable experience while developing this business?
Too many. But the most stressful was battling TfL and Thames Water to finally get a water connection – 36 hours before opening.
Brunch at Counter, where you can enjoy delightful fresh blueberry pancakes
What are your future plans?
For the next half year we have our work cut out with Counter Termini, the cricket season at the KIA Oval and then Christmas. But in 2018 Counter will hopefully begin to spread its wings across London.
Counter is located at 50 S Lambeth Pl, London SW8 1SP. Opening times are:
Reservations line: 020 3693 9600