From ’nduja meatballs to roasted cod Provençal, Mina’s offers a sunshine slice of the Med on Motcomb Street. Bijan Morvaridi, who owns the restaurant and bar with his fiancée Sabrina Montourcy, shares their story…
How did you begin working in food?
Sabrina grew up in a brasserie in France. Her parents had one for 25 years, so hospitality is in her blood.
We met in 2013; we were both working in more corporate jobs and decided to quit and start a street food business serving confit duck. We did a lot of lunchtime markets around London and that escalated into our first premises in Liverpool Street [Butcher & Bab in 2018], where we did good quality takeaway kebabs. That went super well, then the pandemic happened and we rethought where we wanted to be positioned.
We found this opportunity during lockdown. We were walking around and found this site was transitioning from the Good Life Eatery. We thought it was a great location and the neighbours have been super friendly, offering help whenever they can. My mum knows the area well; she lives nearby in Cadogan Gardens and is often in the Alfred Tennyson.
What’s in the name?
The restaurant is named after our daughter, Mina, who is 15 months old. She is a mix of Italian, French and English – I’m half Iranian as well – so the menu encompasses a lot of Mediterranean dishes from mainly Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. It’s fresh, simple ingredients and our cocktails are paired to complement the food.
What’s on the menu?
Dishes are made for sharing and include grilled aubergine salad, truffle pappardelle, caramelised chorizo in red wine and Scottish beef bavette with Mina’s grandmother’s salsa verde. Sabrina’s heritage is Italian-French and a lot of the recipes that were used in her mother’s brasserie were passed down. A lot of the creations in there are our creations, but have hints of the past.
How important is community?
For us we got into street food because we love that community feel and being part of a collective. I can already see that here from the guys at the Alfred Tennyson, Pantechnicon and Motcombs offering their help. You are much more powerful as a collective.
When are you open?
To begin with it will be full lunch and dinner service from Wednesday onwards and then evening service on Mondays and Tuesdays as well.
Mina’s is located at 20 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8LB – just a 7-minute walk from Knightsbridge tube station.