Ronnie Chats all things Soane’s Kitchen
After saying farewell to Soane’s Kitchen in Ealing we chatted to Ronnie who opened, and closed, Soane’s Kitchen. Starting as a Bar Manager and leaving as the General Manager Ronnie is to thank for all the locals loving Soane’s. From fireworks and sea bream to busy brunches and rhubarb sours, Ronnie has experienced it all.
Thank you Ronnie and we are so pleased that you are still part of our team. Ronnie is now General Manager of our wonderful Crane’s Kitchen in Peckham.
How did you come to work with SP as part of the Soane’s Kitchen site in Ealing?
- I had just moved to London with my Fiancé; I had a background working in bars and restaurants. I come across Soane’s was looking to hire a bar manager for its opening, I met with the General Manager at the time and was shown around the space and instantly knew I wanted to be apart of the team at Soanes, the space was spacious, bright and the walled garden space is a bartenders dream.
Talk to us about how you designed the cocktail menu and your top favourites
- The cocktail menu was fun to create, I wanted to have a few creations only to Soane’s on the menu but also have a few classics that we make a twist on. I used the menu we would be running and picking certain dishes that we can create cocktails that would compliment the food and help elevate the dinners experience. I also wanted to use our fresh walled garden and the fruits/vegetables to create a fresh cocktail. One of my favourites is our Rhubarb Sour, we used the fresh rhubarb form the garden which we would use to infuse into the syrups and gin we used to make the cocktail. It was super fresh light and amazing to have sitting out in the outside dinning space when the sun started to set.
What did you love most at running Soane’s Kitchen?
- Soane’s had a great vibe especially on the weekend. Brunches were the best! We loved serving so many people and seeing everyone enjoy not only the food and drinks but also the atmosphere of the space.
Where there any moments that really tested you?
- There has been a few times that have been a bit testing, one that always come to mind is bonfire night, we are in the middle of dinner service, when all of sudden a group of young lads, opened out glass door on the garden side and threw in a light firework which made a loud noise and filled the room with smoke. It was quick to fix as I just had to grab a jug of water and pour it over the firework to get it to go out but it did set off the fire alarm and took around 1 hour to get the smoke to clear fully out. The customers in that night were fantastic and completely understood the situation.
What was your biggest challenge with running the Ealing site?
- The biggest challenge with Soanes was coming into Covid, Seeing the venue go from a fantrastic weekend looking forward to great summer to then seeing the venue become silent only two days later was so tough and challenging to see and to help my team as much as possible going into it.
What was your best menu item at SK, you can name a few if you cant choose!
- We have had some amazing food throughout Soanes but some of my favourites has to be our crispy prawn burger with squid ink bun, it was such an eye-catching dish as well as tasting it. There was also our seabream dish with red Thai curry sauce on samphire, I think this was my favourite dish we ever had.
Talk to us about the locals and how you managed to bond with them?
- From the start we had a good number of locals that came regularly to the venue for not only teas and coffees but also in for lunch and dinner. As time progressed and my time taking over the venue we built up a good base of regulars with some we saw almost everyday which was fantastic to see and not only myself but my whole team had good relations with the customers. We also loved welcoming dogs! With most of our regulars being customers with dogs and one of our favourites being Fred the cockapoo. We met him as a six-week-old puppy and got to see him grow up over several months into a giant bundle of fur. His owner Vicky was a fantastic customer who had conversations with us every week and knew we would always have her order straight away along with water for Fred.
What was the best event you did at Soane’s Kitchen
- The best event we hosted is hard to say, we have hosted some amazing events with one being the last event we ran which was a big 40th birthday celebration which had lots of great food, good music with a baby grand piano being put in the venue along with the guests who were all having a fantastic time in the space. To our launch party when we first opened which was one of the best launch parties I’ve been involved with.
Looking back what will be your best memory from your time at Soane’s Kitchen?
- There is a lot of good memories with Soanes’s but some of the best memories have been some of the events we have run throughout our time. From the huge annual sky conference to the last event we hosted before lockdown which was a 40th birthday celebration.
Thinking back to this time last year when we had a DJ on a Saturday and guests enjoying endless drinks in the garden makes us feel super sad that we are not enjoying it now, what did you have planned for this Summer?
- It is super sad that we were not able to have a fantastic summer, We had some amazing plans from not only a great summer menu along with new summer cocktail list to plans we had for having a street food offering. This summer was suppose to be a huge summer of sporting events and we were looking to host some amazing screening parties for Wimbledon, the euros and the Olympics on a giant outdoor screen with an outside bar. We were gearing up for our best summer to date.