Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: free cake, polenta and where to be this weekend.
Free Panettone (And Some Cheese)
The fourth branch of mozzarella bar chain Obika opened on Poland Street on Tuesday, and has brought Soho a Christmas present along with it. While upstairs is all about the creamy cheese and Italian cured meats, downstairs is a pop-up panettone lounge, which will run until Christmas Eve. Here, anyone who pops in will be offered some of the classic Italian Christmas cake (cut from a 5 kilo panettone) completely free, along with a drink of prosecco or hot chocolate. A stop-off during Christmas shopping on Oxford Street, perhaps?
London already has loads of restaurants dedicated to just one or two items. There’s burger, chicken and pizza joints galore; Obika as mentioned above; Hummus Bros; chicken and steak concept Tramshed; and Burger & Lobster, to name a few. Next to have its time in the limelight is humble polenta. La Polenteria is set to open before the end of the month on Old Compton Street with an Italian-influenced menu of savoury and sweet dishes made with the grain.
London Restaurants (And Ramsay) On Top Again
Restaurant booking site TopTable have released their list of the UK’s top restaurants, ranked according to online reviews from more than 340,000 customers who have booked through the site. Impressively, London made up over half of the top 100 (compared to four in the next most successful city, Birmingham). The top spot went to Gordon Ramsay for his self-titled Chelsea restaurant and he also claimed position three for Pétrus in Knightsbridge. The top five was rounded off by The Ledbury at four and Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner at five.
Also Opening This Week
As well as Obika, Soho gained two more new restaurants this week. Notting Hill’s sunshine-filled Rum Kitchen opened branch no.2 near Carnaby Street, serving Caribbean classics such as jerk chicken, saltfish fritters and curried mutton alongside a list of over 100 rums and beach-bar cocktails. Over on Wardour Street, Jackson & Rye has launched with a menu inspired by East Coast USA. It will be open from 8am until midnight every day, with a menu featuring chowder, shrimp and grits, steaks, burgers, bourbon and milkshakes. Over at Old Street, On the Bab officially launched yesterday, bringing Korean street food to Shoreditch. They promise a proper K-Town experience and offer Korean-inspired cocktails including Somac (a mix of spirit and beer which is succinctly described by Urban Dictionary).
We previewed it here, but as a reminder today sees the launch of a street food and cocktail fest in the form of Drink Feast, running from tomorrow until Sunday in Hoxton. The good people behind this booze bonanza are no other than Street Feast, who are also putting on a party this weekend. Saturday sees celeb chef Gizzi Erskine host #TwistedChristmas at Hawker House near Cambridge Heath, where you can expect to find go-go girls, a transvestite choir and drag-queen Santas, along with street food, hot cocktails and stalls selling foodie Christmas gifts. What more could you possibly want?
Talk To Us
We still want your help to keep these weekly food and drink news round-ups as relevant, up-to-date, and interesting as possible. Got any top tips, local gems or foodie news? Tried one of the new restaurants we mentioned? Leave a comment below or hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘Til next week...