Toby Williams and Lianna Jewell, the husband and wife team behind Sabel, are on the cusp of their much-anticipated kitchen residency at Ninety One.
Steeped in the experience of cooking (Toby) and events (Lianna), we sat down for a chat ahead of the launch to find out why the union of Sabel and Ninety One might be as complimentary as their own.
How did Sabel come about?
We founded Sabel in 2015 after a successful and well-reviewed residency. Since then we have been running a range of events including the banqueting tents at Wilderness and Lost Village alongside chef alumni including Ottolenghi, Tommy Banks, Nuno Mendes and Tomas Parry.
Sabel X Ninety One is the next development on our journey, as we step up and offer a casual British-style, café/restaurant menu using vibrant flavours and super seasonal produce.
What has been your inspiration for Sabel?
We have been lucky enough to work with some of the best restaurants and chefs in the world, and so draw inspiration from different places and people.
Ottolenghi, for example, has been revolutionary for cafes and salad bars across the UK. It’s a confident kind of food that we hope we too can reflect at Ninety One
What is your philosophy when it comes to food?
Big, bold flavours using the best ingredients and best techniques!
As a family, we are vegetarian from Monday to Friday and so when we do buy meat, we enjoy it more. Ethical food is really important to us and we’re always a happy companion for a debate.
What drew you to the residency opportunity at Ninety One?
I (Toby) grew up in London and we now live just up the road in Hackney with our kids, so it just really feels like our area.
Brick Lane is such an iconic site already, and we love that Ninety One is a part of the Truman Brewery! It just seems like a great fit, and the ‘third space’ concept basically sums up what we were looking for in a venue. We feel proud to be able to call it our new home.
Tell us about the kind of food we can expect for lunch/dinner
A lot of the menu is driven by asking the question: ‘What would I want to eat at this time of day?’
Thus, lunches will be a salad bar focussed on plant-based foods. Think griddled cauliflower with turmeric and red onions / miso glazed artichokes, kale and sesame / heritage carrots, rocket and pistachio pesto / BBQ pumpkin, roast barley and hen of woods mushrooms. Of course, we’ll have a selection of hot soups, sandwiches and sweet treats too!
Dinner will consist of a carefully-curated menu of small plates and a couple of larger items. Continuing our focus on great local produce, expect some of the best cheeses courtesy of our London supplier (the ricotta is so fresh that it often arrives still warm), as well as the most outrageous meats from Cobble Lane Cured.
For bar snacks, you’ll find venison nuggets with mustard and pickled cabbage, olives with burnt clementine and cascabel, scorched tenderstem, smoked cod roe and paprika.
Rounding off with a pudding, we’d naturally recommend our fermented pear granita, pine and yoghurt, or perhaps the pumpkin tart with miso caramel
Lunch runs from 12pm-2:30pm, Mon-Fri.
Dinner service launches on 7th December and will run from 6pm-10pm, Thur-Sat.