Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: Distilleries, pizzas and secret cocktails
Drinks and distilling
A new bar and distillery is due to open towards the end of this month in Bow Wharf, near Victoria Park. East London Liquor will be run by the Barworks group (responsible for Electricity Showrooms, Exmouth Arms and The Black Heart among others) and feature two copper stills for distilling. They're planning to make several gins, a vodka and a whisky on site, as well as running distillery tours and ‘make your own’ sessions. Could this be a sign of our predicted trend for small-batch whisky distilleries in London coming good?
Three branches of a new pizza takeaway will launch in the City this year after having raised £440,000 on Crowdcube in just a couple of weeks. Pizza Rossa’s USP is to offer high quality pizzas “akin to the quality of food found in an Italian deli, and aligned with foodie pizzas” that will take just 90 seconds from ordering to being served, something which will be of interest to time-poor lunching workers, and which is currently lacking in the City. A pop-up branch is due to open in May.
Just outside the M25 but on the Crossrail route, Brentwood’s restaurant scene looks to be hotting up. Albert Roux has applied to open up in a former Post Office site on the High Street, according to the local press. The man is something of a culinary legend, gaining London’s first ever Michelin star when he launched Le Gavroche in Mayfair back in 1967. He also runs Roux at The Landau in The Langham hotel near Regent Street and Roux at Parliament Square, as well as a handful of restaurants in Scotland.
Starbucks in W5
The controversial coffee giant has announced plans to move its European headquarters to London, supposedly with a view to ‘getting closer to their biggest export market’. It should also mean an increase in the amount of tax they pay in the country. They will leave the Netherlands for Chiswick later this year.
Grind in W1
In more boutique coffee news, Old Street’s popular caffeine bolt-hole Shoreditch Grind will launch a second site in Beak Street next month, taking the not unpredictable name of Soho Grind. Slightly less predictable is a built-in secret bar that will be revealed by a sliding wall come evening time, serving cocktails including Grind Espresso Martinis and Hot Flat White Russians.
Asian noodle dish joint Noodle House opens today on Shaftesbury Avenue, whisky bar Rusty Nail will open in Mayfair this summer from the same team as nearby Whisky Mist, while a Greek restaurant called Opso and a dubiously-named Lebanese ‘tapas’ restaurant and shisha bar Lazeez both open in Marylebone next month. At the end of May, the founder of Foxtons estate agents will open Pavilion on Kensington High Street, complete with a restaurant, deli, Champagne bar and florist’s shop. Changes are also to be seen at Brixton’s Wishbone restaurant, which has been bought by MeatLiquor.
And as for those kebabs
A slightly worrying Food Standards Agency report has found that nearly a third of lamb takeaways it checked contained a different meat, with 8 in 30 tests carried out on lamb takeaways in London containing other meats. The good news? No horse has been found. And by the sounds of it, we don’t have it half as bad as Birmingham.
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