Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: Viajante, Tube strike dining and hotels
Viajante to Close
Michelin-starred Bethnal Green restaurant Viajante is to close at the end of the month. Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes, who heads up the restaurant in the Town Hall Hotel, has decided to leave in order to pursue new challenges. The fate of The Corner Room, also run by the chef and set in the same hotel is unclear, though Mendes will not be involved in it. Word from the hotel is that they have two chefs lined up to potentially take on the restaurant space vacated by Viajante, and that a deal will shortly be signed with one of them. We’re expecting to hear an announcement any day now…
More for Mendes
Nuno Mendes won’t be seeking early retirement when he leaves Viajante. He was this week announced as Executive Chef at Chiltern Firehouse, which will open on 16 February as part of a new Marylebone hotel. The food will be modern with American influences, fitting for a chef that spent 16 years in the States. Mendes has made clear that he has been working on this project for over a year already, and that it is not the reason why he is leaving Viajante. Coincidence.
Another Town Hall Hotel
And as one flagship restaurant in an old town hall converted into a hotel closes (that’s Viajante), we get wind of another one. According to this article, a boutique hotel is planned for Grade II-listed Bromley Town Hall, and with it a restaurant which will hope to become a destination eating spot. One to watch.
Tube Strike Dining
We really liked the idea of this piece by Hot Dinners, which showed that last night you could get last-minute tables at even some of London’s most difficult to book restaurants, as diners were put off by the idea of not being able to get home thanks to that pesky tube strike. Also, gastropub group ETM and Pizza Express have both launched offers for up to 50% of your food bill during the inconveniences, and Wagamama are offering anyone who got into work (or claimed to) a free juice when using the codeword “hero”. Have a look around and try your luck at bagging a bargain tonight, if you fancy. Or next week. Hey, you’ll probably get a fair few chances.
Looking For a Nus Site
Restaurateur David Moore, who runs Pied a Terre on Charlotte Street among other venues, has revealed that he is looking for a new site for his pop-up Pieds Nus. Due to close on 11 March, when he has to move out of his Marylebone location, he is considering potential sites possibly in East London, and possibly as part of a hotel. Maybe someone should put him in touch with the Bethnal Green Town Hall crew…
Two popular restaurants are both expanding in one form or other, this week. Islington’s teeny-tiny seafood joint Prawn on the Lawn near Highbury & Islington station isn’t going to be teeny-tiny for much longer as they near completion of work on converting the downstairs space into a new seating area, which will mean customers can book for the first time. And over in Peckham, long-standing South Indian restaurant Ganapati have started to do takeaways, delivering to the lucky locals of much of south east London. Check if you’re in the area here. Further afield, Soho’s Mexican bar and restaurant La Bodega Negra has set up a sister site in New York.
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 email@example.com. ‘Til next week…