Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: soup only restaurant, Stevie Parle, Mark Hix
Our alliterative headline here isn’t referring to a new, very specific shop from M&S, but rather the latest in London’s growing list of restaurants with just one item on the menu. Hot on the heels of polenta-only restaurant La Polenteria on Old Compton Street, Soupe du Jour will open round the corner on Lexington Street later in the month serving only soup. Specifics of the menu are as yet unknown, but we can’t help thinking that there’s only so creative one can be with soup, and also that heading into summer is a strange time to launch. Co-founder Daniel Auner says of the concept: “My one goal is to bring the freshest and most wholesome soups to London. As a huge soup lover, there is currently no other specialist offer within this field that I feel can compete with our gourmet recipes.”
Stevie sets up
Dock Kitchen chef and general foodie hotshot Stevie Parle will open his first restaurant a week today. Set on the Haggerston stretch of Kingsland Road, it will be called Rotorino and serve cleverly assembled Southern Italian dishes — appropriate given that Stevie spent a lot of time working at Hammersmith’s Italian institution The River Café.
Speaking of The River Café, after over 26 years of pleasing punters in its glass-fronted riverside spot at Thames Wharf, it is to move — though not far. The whole Thames Wharf site near Hammersmith is to be redeveloped, and as part of this the restaurant will get a new building. The restaurant is credited with starting the careers of chefs including Theo Randall, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and a certain Jamie Oliver among many others.
Mark Hix has announced plans to open his first restaurant south of the river, with the opening of a second branch of Hixter in the Bankside area this summer. The concept is built around a choice of either chicken or steak and the original launched late last year near Liverpool Street. There will also be a third version of cocktail haunt Mark’s Bar beneath the new site on Great Guildford Street, following one in the other Hixter and the original on Soho’s Brewer Street.
With the launch of their Old Street site after refurbishment, Thai chain Busaba Eathai have launched their first bar. Set in the restaurant’s basement, you can pop in for Thai-inspired cocktails along with snacks from an abridged version of the restaurant menu. Busaba was founded by Alan Yau, who is responsible for high-end Chinese restaurants Hakkasan and Yauatcha, as well as Wagamama.
Pop-up to permanent
As they were planning the launch of Japanese gastropub Kurobuta for near Marble Arch, the team launched a Chelsea pop-up last year to help them find their feet. It’s been so popular that it’s now been announced it will stay, even when the much-delayed ‘proper’ restaurant opens later this month.
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…