A POPULAR town centre restaurant is to be transformed into a Pan-Asian venue offering tapas style dining.
Wokingham resident Charlie Blacker is getting the keys to The Teak House in Peach Street this weekend and will re-open it next week as PÁN.
The 42-year-old has spent the past seven years working on private super yachts, cooking for the uber rich and famous all over the world, but now he’s shaking off his sea legs in exchange for bringing the world’s cuisine to Wokingham.
And Mr Blacker knows his menus, he’s worked in a three Michelin starred restaurant in Kyoto, and also appeared on a TV show that was broadcast in central Asia and parts of Russia. It was made while he was working in Kyrgyzstan while on a seven-month charitable project.
Now the former Emmbrook School pupil is looking forward to sharing his experience with the borough’s residents, but he says it will be an accessible menu.
“PÁN is bold and blended flavours offering contemporary Pan-Asian cuisine,” he told The Wokingham Paper. “It will be a tapas style of dining to encourage an informal and interactive dining experience.
“The cooking will involve techniques such as smoking, Japanese barbecue (hibachi), sous vide, pickling and preserving: techniques from all over the world.”
He is promising that PÁN will serve a choice of eight savoury dishes and two desserts that will rely on seasonal and nationally grown produce. A typical menu will have two meat dishes, two fish with the rest plant based and Mr Blacker intends to change it regularly.
He added: “The service will be warm and informative (if required) with an aspect of fun.
“Each server will have an in-depth understanding of the flavour off each dish and how it is prepared and know how to pair it with the right wine: The service is to be as important as the food.”
And he’s looking forward to making his mark on his home town.
“I was born and bred in Emmbrook, but left at 19 to travel round the world,” he said. “I’m coming back to open up a new, independent restaurant.
“I hoping to get people back into the town centre at a time when people have been worried about what will happen to it.”
He plans to keep the decor similar to what The Teak House currently has but making it lighter. He’s also promising to modernise it.
“It’s based on stuff I’ve seen in Thailand and Dubai, it will have a pan-Asian vibe, but will be more contemporary. And we’ll use as mich local produce as possible,” Mr Blacker pledged.
“It’s something very different to what Wokingham is used to.”
The restaurant is planned to open on Tuesday.