The Tent (at the end of the universe)

Middle Eastern·
Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of The Tent (at the end of the universe)

Bronze Award

For reasons unbeknownst to anyone other than the founder himself, John Javier has opened a restaurant called The Tent (at the end of the universe). It’s a unique venture designed around the theme of a tent, with immersive interiors and serving Middle Eastern food to the 34 diners it holds - at a push - in the evening.  

Entering the dining room feels exclusive, bizarre and full of promise all at once. The arresting aroma of incense hangs heavy in the air, while tiny LED lights reminiscent of a starry sky draw the eye upwards to a draped canopy ceiling. Low-level benches are splashed with bohemian-style cushions, the workings of a small bar trundle along quietly to the rear of the space, and a resident DJ sits centre stage – clearly in charge of getting the vibe right for the night. What is the vibe though? We’d put it somewhere between a Japanese izakaya and a child’s bedroom. Still with us?  

The menu feels like the antithesis to the whacky setting. This is Middle Eastern food, plain and simple - bread, dips, crudites, and shish kebabs. It makes ordering very straightforward. Thick tzatziki has an almost cheesy twang, while a warm flatbread, flaky in some places and doughy in others, is so good we order another. What does fall flat is the hummus, which is a little dull tasting for our liking. But then a giant piece of Iberico secreto pork schnitzel blows away any doubt thanks to its crunchy deep-fried breadcrumb coating. That single piece of flattened meat costs £28, which we’d pay again.  

Considering this is John Javier’s first foray into Middle Eastern cooking, there’s a lot to write home about. It’s definitely preaching to a niche audience – namely foodies with an open mind and a few pennies to spare – but if you fit two or more of those criteria, we reckon you’ll like it very much.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Middle Eastern
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Quirky, Romantic, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Late night dining
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions


John Javier, the founder of Master in Sydney, has headed to the UK to open The Tent (at the end of the universe) on Little Portland Street. It’s slightly different from anything he’s done before, with the Fitzrovia joint serving modern Middle Eastern food in an intimate concept room. John is most identifiably known for his playful take on Chinese food thanks to his roles at Master and more recently Happy Paradise in Hong Kong. The Filipino-born chef was raised in Australia and started out his career at acclaimed kitchens Quay, Noma and Momofuku.  

The 34-cover dining room is located on the ground floor of private club 17 Little Portland Street. Naturally, the interiors are designed in the style of a tent, with canvas ceiling awnings, star lit installations and lunar-inspired lighting. Music plays a large role in the dining experience, with the restaurant hosting a curated list of DJs throughout the week, who you can find intimately nestled between diners. 

The menu changes weekly and pays respect to the traditional flavours and techniques used in Middle Eastern cooking. Highlights include suckling lamb, mushroom shish, dairy cow rib with ras el hanout, carabineros prawns with baharat spices and grilled onions with sumac and pomegranate molasses.  

A host of dips sit alongside the main dishes, from hummus with chilli oil and burnt lime to tzatziki dressed with wakame oil, beetroot and labneh borani and taramasalata with onion ash. There are a few surprising twists along the way, with ingredients such as dashi, kombu and yuzu kosho used in place of more authentic seasonings. 

The drinks menu comprises a concise but quirky list of Japanese whiskies, mezcals, CBT teas and herbal infusions. There’s a succinct selection of wines sourced predominantly from Europe, and a playful menu of cocktails including spirits such as chardonnay grape skin vodka and coconut bourbon. 


Can I book?

Yes, bookings are highly recommended, which you can do via the website.

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Who is John Javier?

John Javier is a Filipino-born chef who was raised in Australia. He started out in the kitchens of acclaimed Quay, Noma and Momofuku Seiobo before opening rock and roll Chinese restaurant MASTER in Sydney, and more recently at the helm of Happy Paradise in Hong Kong.

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17 Little Portland Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8BP

0203 848 7430 0203 848 7430


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 19:00-01:00
Thu 19:00-01:00
Fri 19:00-01:00
Sat 19:00-01:00
Sun Closed


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