Chefs Joshua Ralphs and Jack O’Connor to launch Big Night

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Chefs Joshua Ralphs and Jack O’Connor to launch Big Night restaurant in Hackney

Related tags Big Night restaurant Nest Hackney Joshua Ralphs Jack O’Connor

Larry’s alumni Joshua Ralphs and Jack O’Connor will open a restaurant within the Hackney Central site that was once home to Nest later this month.

Partly inspired by the cult restaurant film of the same name, Big Night will look to foster a ‘lively and generous energy’ with its communal tables, loud music and low lighting. 

Initially trading on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings only, the Morning Lane venture will be inspired by yakitori-serving Japanese izakayas with Ralphs and O’Connor - who are both chefs by trade - putting seasonal ‘British-ish’ produce on sticks and putting them on a charcoal grill.

The pair say the food will be ‘simple, loud and fun, perfect to be eaten with a beer in hand and friends at your side’.

The menu will draw on a variety of influences rather than ‘pretending to adhere to a concept of an authentic cuisine’ with the duo clear that Big Night is not a Japanese restaurant. 

Slated to launch on 11 January, the restaurant will also offer its seasonal house ferments for retail and wholesale.

“We will be cooking with integrity and creativity with ingredients and flavours that we love and are passionate about, in a way that is innovative rather than traditional, and most importantly, tasty tasty delicious,” the pair say. “We’re talking lamb hearts, smoked beetroots, pickled mussels, seasonal kimchis and miso banoffee.”

“We want everyone to feel at home here, a place for people to come together, the tables will be communal, you’ll be asking your neighbour to pass the chilli oil and cheersing the whole table with a round of shots and sauerkraut. Every night will be a Big Night.” 

Ralphs and O’Connor’s met and became friends while working at (now closed)​ Peckham restaurant Larry’s. The pair’s collective cooking CVs also include London’s Flor, Lasdun and Jolene. 

Nest vacated its original home last year to relaunch​ within a larger, more prominent, space in Shoreditch.

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