Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: Rawduck, Polpetto and James Lowe
Restaurant Return #1: Rawduck
It was big news back in November when work close to Hackney Central station led to some buildings in the area becoming structurally unsound and having to be demolished. One of them was Rawduck, the Hackney sister of Soho’s popular Duck Soup wine bar and eatery. The good news for Hackney locals is that Rawduck is returning. It’s now expected on Richmond Road, not far London Fields station, in March.
Restaurant Return #2: Polpetto
After being closed for more than six months, Russell Norman’s Polpetto has re-opened quietly this week at a new location on Berwick Street, promising to be bigger and better. (It was previously above The French House on Dean Street.) Chef Florence Knight remains at the helm in the kitchen and fans of Polpo should expect similar Venetian-inspired small plates. Russell Norman must be a busy man, what with Ape & Bird only recently launched and his current starring role in The Restaurant Man on BBC2.
Lowe And Behold
James Lowe made a name for himself in foodie circles as part of cheffy supperclub trio The Young Turks, along with Ben Greeno and Isaac McHale, who now runs The Clove Club restaurant near Old Street. As of May, Lowe will be just down the road as it’s announced that he will open his first restaurant, Lyle’s in the Tea Building on Shoreditch High Street; the building already holds Pizza East and Shoreditch House. He’ll be cooking seasonally-focused British food, though details are still vague. The restaurant will be open all day, from breakfast until dinner, with the evening offering consisting of a £39 set menu.
A new afternoon tea venue will launch in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in spring. This will be the third dining venue in the hotel, along with US chef Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud and Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner. Named The Rosebery, it will focus on afternoon tea and Champagne cocktails and is likely to come with a substantial price tag.
Expansions are under way for two London chains, this week. Dim sum restaurant Ping Pong announced plans to open at Westfield in Stratford, while Benito’s Hat will soon open its sixth site close to Aldgate. News has also reached us of just how well Thai chain Busaba Eathai is doing at pulling in the punters; three more branches are due soon in Angel, Shoreditch and Kingston.
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