Leicester is set for a wonderful new fine dining experience when Restaurant 263 opens in early December.
The restaurant is the new venture of chef, Keith, who has previously been Head Chef at The White Peacock. If you visited Keith’s pop up restaurant, Blanc, at Loka you’ll know the quality of food that awaits. Wanting to make fine dining accessible, encourage sustainability and develop his own style of tasting menus, 263 looks set to be a stand out addition to the city centre.
They’ll be opening on Highcross Street and we caught up with Keith to find out more about the venture.
How would you describe 263?
263 it’s a chef-driven concept. We put 100% on a plate there is no restriction, no boundaries, and it’s playful. It is a plant led focused restaurant that uses protein as a supplement.
What inspires most of the dishes?
We present dishes that represent Leicester modern Leicester that’s why our menus are eclectic. we are not afraid of using Spice or taking influence from Asian cuisine because Leicester is a multi-cultural city. the menu is also inspired by what’s available at the local Leicester City centre vegetable market it’s just a doorstep away from , we have developed a great relationship with them.
Tell us about your background as a chef?
I have been a chef for more than 10 years, the highlight of my career was being a Head Chef at The White Peacock, where I sort of found my own style of cooking. but now I do it with no boundaries or restrictions.
What is your favourite dish to cook?
It is the Miso Carrot Pressed Terrine as it’s full of punchy flavours. We thinly slice some carrots and in between we brush some Miso butter. We ferment the trimmings and make a carrot lacto gel and sauce. It also goes with a hazelnut crumb and whipped cheese. This dish is also vegan and represents who we are as a restaurant, our zero waste policy and sustainability.
What will set 263 apart from other restaurants in the city centre?
We only offer taster menus of either 5 courses or 8 courses. We use fresh produce as well, and the diners get to interact with the chef. It is the chef who serves the food and explains the dishes. From the chef’s perspective it keeps us motivated as well and it allows us to grow when we see happy diners and the surprise on their faces. 263 will definitely stand out in the city centre, we just want to have fun and cook our hearts out.
Why do you think Leicester doesn’t have many fine dining venues in the city centre?
Leicester is saturated with chain restaurants so it’s difficult to break through as a fine dinning concept. I think people are under the impression that if it’s fine dinning it will be too expensive but at 263 we are offering a reasonably priced, accessible and chilled out fine dinning experience. You can walk in any time, it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to dine with us at 263.
Do you have any further info on your opening?
So for our opening night we are doing an NHS staff workers’ dinner party, which will all free. This was important for me to do because my mom is a nurse and I’m also a mental health student nurse. We just want to show appreciation. All the ingredients that we are using were donated by the local Leicester Food Market, which brings a form of togetherness as a city.
How can people book for your opening?