In November, when Ben Spalding opened a six-month residency at John Salt in Angel, it was hailed as a game-changer for gastropubs. Unfortunately, the relationship quickly soured, and just before New Year a press release confirmed that the restaurant had closed: according to some reports Spalding, formerly of the Fat Duck and Roganic, balked at being asked to cook standard pub grub. While Spalding is now planning to go it alone, John Salt has wasted little time in moving on, with ex-Barbecoa and Pitt Cue Co chef Neil Rankin being drafted in. The new kitchen opened this week, and initial reports are very promising.
Anybody watching Mr. Selfridge, the ITV drama about the early years of the eponymous department store proprietor, may be interested in this pop-up restaurant and cocktail bar, which is serving "an original menu taken from a celebratory dinner held in honour of Mr H. Gordon Selfridge himself" until 7 March.
If you'd rather mix rather than imbibe your own cocktails, 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington hosts one of their regular masterclasses this Saturday, 19 January. The session will be hosted by Tony Congliaro, who is promoting a new new book, Drinks, and will set you back the not inconsiderable sum of £40.
Tonk The Disco on Friday 18 January is a one-off collaboration between Disco Bistro, pop-up impresario Carl Clarke's six-month residency at the Rising Sun, and tiny Soho ramen bar Tonkotsu. £35 (plus booking fee) will get you a three course menu including " twists on Japanese street food snacks" and the launch of Tonkotsu's London Ramen. Tickets.
If that doesn't tickle you for a Friday feast, then bolt up to Dalston for a helping of mussels and prosecco, courtesy of the Mussel Men. For £35 you'll enjoy a pot of mussels, fries, a glass of prosecco and either four oysters or a dessert.
Restaurant review round-up:
- Some bad reviews out of Brixton Market this week. The Standard's Fay Maschler was disappointed by Salon, while in the Observer, Jay Rayner mauled Wishbone, the buzzy new chicken shop.
- Better news on the fowl front: Chris Pople of Cheese and Biscuits unearthed what he reckons is possibly London's best roast poultry at Clockjack in Soho.
- In the Independent, Lisa Markwell was charmed by family-friendly Parlour.
- London's latest high profile steakhouse, STK on The Strand, was given the once-over by Foodepedia.
Photo of Selfridges by David Bank