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Special group of musical friends open new steakhouse RARE in Greenwich
It’s not very often you know a restaurant has the X factor before even tasting its food - but new steakhouse RARE lives up to its name.
Four friends who share a passion for good food and singing are celebrating the launch of their very own restaurant in Greenwich.
Mark Brooker and his partner Paul Shilling teamed up with married couple Louisa and James Howarth to embark on the delicious culinary – and musical - adventure.
Mark, who has 20 years’ experience as a chef, told Vibe: “My partner and I had been looking for something manageable we could put our own stamp on.
“I was driving up Trafalgar Road and someone from the letting agent’s was outside.
“I saw a ‘for sale’ sign so I stopped the car, viewed it and that afternoon I signed the lease.
“I used to eat there all the time when it was Othello’s and I’m originally a chef by trade so it’s always something I wanted to do.
“I thought ‘let’s have a go’.
“We’d like to keep it family-run and very personal."
Around a year-and-a-half later, RARE is completely refurbished, modern and upmarket and ready to serve the best steaks for miles around.
But it’s not just juicy prime rib on the menu.
Mark and his friends have paid tribute to the previous Greek managers (who they lease the building from) by naming their house speciality after them.
“When I used to come down here for years the Greek couple who ran it were very well known for their lamb kleftiko.” Mark added.
“They are absolutely lovely people and they were kind enough to give us the recipe so our house speciality is the Latti Family Lamb Kleftiko.”
Fish choices are also available as well as vegetarian options and dishes vary in price from £12.99 up to around £30.
The tuneful quartet is even considering sharing their vocal talents with customers should the demand be great enough.
Louisa is currently on her fourth call-back for this year’s X Factor, and this is not the first taste of fame for the gang.
Mark continued: “Paul came second on Stars in Your Eyes as Boy George one year.
“Myself, Paul and Louisa went for X Factor all together three-and-a-half-years ago and we sang for the judges when Sharon Osbourne was still on it – they were all absolutely lovely.
“They really enjoyed it but we weren’t what they were looking for.
“We’re actually quite interesting.”
Along with beautiful-sounding food, this special place is overflowing with love.
Louisa, one of Mark’s closest friends, has only recently beaten breast cancer.
“The way James stood by my friend is unbelievable.” Mark said.
“Through the breast cancer and everything, he looked after her two young babies and made her feel better about herself.
“It means everything to me to have her here.”
Mark has been running his family’s pub, The Anchor and Hope in Charlton, with Paul and the pair intend to carry on managing both businesses.
The 38-year-old said: “We want RARE to be a warm, friendly, family restaurant and hopefully very busy.
“I love everything about cooking, I find it so therapeutic.
“When you create something and someone enjoys it it’s such a nice compliment.
“I want people to leave full up and happy and wanting to come back again.”
For bookings call 0208 858 3334.