Paladar is a creative Latin American restaurant, wine bar and Bodega, located in the heart of London SE1.
Our cuisine is inspired by the foods, flavours and cooking styles common to many of the countries and cultures of Latin America – Spanish and Portuguese-speaking America including some Caribbean islands, such as Cuba, which are culturally Latin American.
In both languages, the world ‘paladar’ means ‘palate’ – referring to taste, appetite and appreciating the finer things in life – and this is what it is all about for us. In Cuba a paladar is also a small, privately-run restaurant with character – which is what we are!
While London is rich with restaurants dedicated to the cuisines of Latin America’s individual countries, Paladar brings something new to the city’s restaurant landscape, focusing on bringing together the best food, drink and culture of the whole of Latin America, rather than just one country.
Here you’ll discover flavours from Colombia, Ecuador and Cuba as well as Mexico and Peru – presented ‘London style’. You can also experience some of our more unique finds, such as oak-aged Colombian gin, vodka made from Bolivian quinoa and wines using indigenous grape varieties.
In the adjoining bodega you can buy our wines and spirits at retail prices to take away. We also sell a range of craft chocolate and fine single-estate coffee beans from Latin America, which you can enjoy at home or give as gifts to your friends and family.
Paladar is a story of travel, friendship and great taste!
When our founder, Charles Tyler, headed to Latin America in 2013 he was blown away by the quality of the wines and spirits, the delicious local cuisine, the friendly people and the energy and zest of the continent. The seed for Paladar was sown.
The lure of Latin America refused to go away, with the thought of showcasing the products and experiences he had found never far from his mind. This idea was encouraged by his close group of friends from the hospitality industry, many of whom were from Latin America – and who are now his business partners.
A visit to a boutique wine shop that specialised in promoting Italian wines and food products provided the spark that led to Paladar’s creation. Why not also have a platform to showcase high-quality Latin American wines and food in London?
To find the right location, Charles got on his bike…literally. Cycling home one day in SE1 he spotted an ideal site at St George’s Circus – London’s first purpose-built traffic intersection. It seemed an appropriate home for a restaurant that is also a culinary crossroads.
The eclectic menu and ambience is reflective of the diverse team behind the development of this exciting new venture. Chef Jose Rubio Guevara is Colombian but grew up in Miami and has lived for many years in London; our knowledgeable Sommelier, Rafael Cabezas-Castro, is Ecuadorian whilst our enigmatic front-of-house manager, Yalain Pita-Salamon, is Cuban. A dash of Europe is added from Cedric Gautier, our indefatigable French bar manager, while our globe-trotting consultant chef and designer, Adu Amran, brings a touch of international flair to the table. Finally, the Brits, Charles Tyler and Stefan Vitalis oversee operations and marketing, while Matthew Wille keeps his hands firmly on the financial controls!
Our head chef is Jose Rubio-Guevara. Born and raised on a coffee and avocado farm in Colombia, food and drink are in his genes. Trained in Miami, he then moved to London where has worked in Soho House, Oblix and Smiths Top Floor. His passion is salsa (the sauces not the dance!) and he takes inspiration from traditional dishes, giving them his special twist with new with inventive sauces and spices.
Rafael Cabezas-Castro, born in Ecuador, is our remarkable sommelier. One of London’s top Latin American sommeliers, Rafael began his career at Harvey Nichol’s 5th floor restaurant, and then moved on to work for Gordon Ramsay, Jason Atherton’s Maze and Sushisamba. His inquisitive palate seeks out different and progressive wines which he enjoys discussing with our guests.
Our French bar manager, Cédric Gautier comes from a family of traditional farmers who produced their personal stock of cider and calvados (an apple brandy typical of the region). A career in finance was quickly exchanged for one behind the bar when he moved to London looking for a change in direction. His analytical skills paired with his knowledge of spirits have combined to form an inventive list of cocktails which both surprise and delight.
Yalain Pita-Salomon is our enigmatic front of house manager. Originally hailing from Cuba he is an attentive host with a passion for fine cuisine, wines and Latin American music and dance. He trained both as a commis chef and latterly as restaurant supervisor at Smiths Top Floor. His friendly smile and cheeky manner will immediately make you feel at home in Paladar.
Charles Tyler, our director, is not from Latin America; although his heart certainly lies there. Through the creation of Paladar he combines both his passion for hospitality and the continent. Having set up both a Latin American tour operator and the successful Champor-Champor restaurant at London Bridge, he is ideally placed to ensure that we achieve our goal of taking our guests on a truly culinary voyage.
We like our guests to feel they have travelled beyond just food and wine.
For us this means making sure we bedeck our walls with original art, serve up new Latin music styles and allow them to take a piece of Paladar home with them when they buy wines and other goodies in our bodega. In the future we’ll be seeking out more of the best of Latin America (we can’t ignore the coffee and chocolates!), putting on chefs’ tastings and events, and letting you in on a special secret location for summer. Keep coming back as we continue the Paladar story…