Pembrokeshire native Tom Simmons, who already runs a successful restaurant at One Tower Bridge in London, is to open his first restaurant in Wales in mid-February.
Thomas by Tom Simmons will open in the former Cameo Club in Pontcanna, Cardiff, as Tom and his partner Lois Thomas have taken over the lease for building that houses the private members club, which closes on New Year’s Eve.
Tom said of the new restaurant: “We are really excited to finally be coming to Cardiff, it has been a long time coming and something that Lois and I have always wanted to do.
“The London restaurant will continue to run as normal and we will be bringing some of our favourite and successful dishes from the London menu to Cardiff, as well as creating ones for the Welsh market.”
Thomas will have the same ethos as the London restaurant, with the food served being influenced by British and French cuisine with a Welsh twist and most of the produce sourced from Wales.
Tom continued: “The builders are moving in on January 6th and we plan to completely refurbish the building and put our stamp on it. There will be a bit emphasis on cocktails and Welsh ales too as we are creating a speak-easy type bar above the restaurant, along with a private dining area for functions and business lunch and dinners.
“We will be open lunch and dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays, for brunch on Friday and Saturday and then on Sunday we will have a traditional lunch service.”
Thomas by Tom Simmons will start taking bookings from mid-January with a planned grand opening date of mid-February, around the Wales vs France Six nations rugby match.
“We thought having our official launch around the date of the match where the two nations which have inspired my love of food and cooking are pitted against each other was a great idea, so we’re hoping all of our building work and renovations are completed on time to welcome people along for some fine dining before the big match,” Tom added.
“Lois and I are so excited about bringing our love for food and all things Welsh produce home. This has been an ambition of ours since we opened the London restaurant and an ambition of mine since I started working as a chef and since I took part in Masterchef, so we can’t wait to welcome people through the doors and introduce them to our food and our restaurant ethos.”