Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: Ramsay, Blair, Prince Harry, Kate Moss and Gregg Wallace
Feasts in the East
Hackney continues to enjoy a culinary boom, with newcomers this week including hip rotisserie chicken joint Bones opening up on Kingsland Road, and the announcement of super-authentic Vietnamese noodle bar Salvation In Noodles due to open on Balls Pond Road in mid February. More details have also been revealed about Dock Kitchen chef Stevie Parle’s new Kingsland Road restaurant, which we reported on last week. The restaurant will be called Sardine and will serve dishes from southern Italy and Sardinia.
Ramsay still has it
Yesterday saw the opening of reservation lines for Gordon Ramsay’s latest venture, London House in Battersea. Within five hours, they had taken reservations for 1,300 covers for the weeks following its opening on 4 February (it’s on soft launch from the weekend before). If you want to try and get in there, that number is 020 7592 8545.
Not a recipe for success
It wasn’t such a good week for MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace, who this week announced the closure of his unsuccessful Wallace & Co restaurant in Putney. It follows the closure of his previous poorly-reviewed restaurant Gregg’s Bar & Grill in the Bermondsey Square Hotel last summer, as well his longstanding greengrocer business, West Veg which ceased trading with debts of more than half a million earlier in 2013.
Alan Yau facelift
Serial restaurateur Alan Yau (who brought us Yauatcha and Wagamama among others) is soon to open Duck & Rice, his much-hyped Chinese gastropub in Soho. But yesterday saw the closure of his restaurant Naamyaa Café in Angel, before it was announced that it will re-open as a branch of his popular Thai chain, Busaba Eathai. Planned new Naamyaa’s in Shoreditch and Kingston will also instead open as Busaba Eathai restaurants.
The full story emerged this week of an attempted citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair last Friday, at Mark Hix’s Shoreditch restaurant Tramshed. The unpopular ex-PM was dining with a group at the eatery which offers a choice of either chicken or steak when a barman asked him to accompany him to a police station on the basis of his involvement with 'war crimes' in Iraq. The barman has since left his position. Unfortunately, we don’t know the answer to the most important question: did Blair order chicken or steak?
Also this week, Prince Harry and girlfriend Cressida were spotted eating at the High Street Kensington branch of Byron. His bacon and cheese burger with dressing totaled £9.25, which The Mail thinks is extortionate. He can probably afford it. While we're on the celeb goss, last weekend Kate Moss celebrated her 40th birthday (we're sure you heard about that) at 34 restaurant in Mayfair, and apparently made quite a noise while doing so.
Talk To Us
We still want your help to keep these weekly food & 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…