1 Michelin star chefs: Santiago Lastra, chef patron, KOL

The Staff Canteen

Santiago Lastra is the chef patron of KOL Restaurant in Marylebone, London

The MJMK restaurant, located in Marylebone, is the Noma Mexico chef's first UK site, and has been widely praised since it opened in 2020.


9 Seymour St, London W1H 7BA

Website: https://kolrestaurant.com/

Tel: 020 3829 6888

Bookings and contact: 


Opening hours:

Monday    Closed
Tuesday    5pm–12am
Wednesday    12–2pm, 5pm–12am
Thursday    12–2pm, 5pm–12am
Friday    12–2pm, 5pm–12am
Saturday    12–2pm, 5pm–12am
Sunday    12–3pm

Instagram: @kol.restaurant

Twitter: @sanlastra

Facebook: Kol Restaurant


Born in Cuernavaca, a small town outside Mexico City, Santiago began cooking as a teenager for his mother and brother after losing his father and grandparents all in the space of a month, helping to comfort them with his food. His first job was at an Italian restaurant called Formaggio.

When he was 18, Santiago moved to Spain with plans to go and stage at Noma, and landed a job at a one Michelin-starred restaurant in Pamplona. He has since travelled the world, from Copenhagen to Moscow and the Spanish Basque country, totalling 25+ countries.

He worked at two Michelin-starred Mugaritz in 2013, when it was ranked 3rd best restaurant in the world in the World's 50 Best.

The chef was an integral part of the team behind Noma's seven-week pop-up in the Mexican jungle of Tulum - the world’s most successful pop-up, for which every USD$750 ticket sold out in two hours.

With the mission of promoting the culture and heritage of Mexico, and to support the country's producers and suppliers, Santiago first conceived of opening a Mexican research centre in London, but figured that the restaurant would give them more means to work with.


What the guides say...


three stars


The restaurant opened in October 2020, three years later than originally planned. It was awarded a star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2022.

Kol features a 56-seat ground floor restaurant with an open kitchen, a chef's table experience which seats 3 tables of four and offers an ever-changing menu. 

Within the same space, Kol Mezcaleria has its own 'antojitos' ('little cravings') menu.

The restaurant offers seasonal menus of Mexican dishes prepared using mostly British ingredients (bar chocolate, chilli and corn) with a focal point on freshly-made tortillas. 

For ingredients that can't be sourced in the UK - such as limes - the chef seeks to replicate the flavours and notes using substitutes available here - such as sea buckthorn.

The chef has even found a British farmer to make the Oaxaca cheese without which it is impossible to make quesadillas.

In the main restaurant, the menu starts with small bites, a ceviche, then tostadas follow, before a main course comprised of either fish or meat, then dessert. An evening tasting menu costs £75 a head for six courses and £110 for nine, with an additional drinks pairing for £60/£90 and a Mezcal pairing for £90/£115.

Dishes on the menu include mole with purple carrot cecina, fermented blackcurrant and truffle; tostada with cheltenham beetroot, guajillo, walnut and heritage corn; Flan with toasted rye, malted barley, pear and sourdough caramel.

Reviews, Awards and accolades

Within months of opening, Kol was met with critical acclaim.

Giles Coren of The Times called it “world-class, genre-defying [and] entirely new." 

City AM critic Dinneen said the chef's stamp "can be seen on every aspect of Kol, from the chic dining room, which fuses free flowing Mexican design with Scandinavian minimalism, to the crockery, which is rustic and beautiful and, I’m sure, nerve-janglingly expensive. And the food… that’s pretty great too."

KOL was named best new restaurant in Europe by La Liste in 2021, while KOL Mezcaleria ranked 54th Best Bar in the World by the Top 500 Bars 2021. Santiago was GQ's chef of the year 2021, and the restaurant ranked 33rd in the National Restaurant Awards 2021. Even before the restaurant opened, in 2019, Santiago was named in CODE's 30 under 30 as one to watch.

Michelin says the restaurant's tagline of  'Mexican soul, British ingredients’ "proves a unique and exhilarating combination," where "a varied and imaginative set menu of colourful, vibrant dishes [] have you gripped from the first bite to the last."

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The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th March 2022

1 Michelin star chefs: Santiago Lastra, chef patron, KOL