Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: caves, Creole and crowned restaurants.
Hot on the heels of this week’s National Restaurant Awards, The Good Food Guide has announced the regional winners of its 2015 Readers’ Restaurant of the Year awards. The restaurant which came top in the London region was Charlotte’s Bistro in Chiswick. Runners-up included Boqueria Tapas and Upstairs (both on Acre Lane between Brixton and Clapham), Osteria Antica Bologna in Battersea, and Brigade at London Bridge — a good tally for south of the river.
Hawksmoor the fifth
The fifth branch of Hawksmoor opens today in Knightsbridge. Alongside its signature steaks, this restaurant will serve a range of Asian-inspired seafood (including Singapore-style devilled Brixham lobster and raw scallops with citrus, chilli and ginger) and a pudding resembling a large Ferrero Rocher. In lieu of a soft-launch period, everyone who dines in the restaurant during July or August will receive a glass of complimentary fizz.
Raising the bars
Bar company Drake & Morgan has announced plans to open two new central London locations, bringing its total to nine. The first will launch in Regent’s Place near Euston this autumn, and the second will open in King’s Cross early next year, as part of the development which will also include Google’s new headquarters. Other Drake & Morgan bars include The Refinery in Southwark, The Drift near Liverpool Street, and The Folly at Monument.
Creole in Camden
It’s not the easiest of cuisines to find in the capital, so fans of Creole cooking will be pleased to hear about the arrival of Bayou in Camden next week. Due to open on Thursday on Inverness Street, its repertoire will include po’ boy sandwiches, buttermilk-fried chicken and gumbo. It will also have a bar area specialising in bourbon cocktails and US beers, and will feature live music of an evening.
Craft beer specialists The Draft House will launch a new bar on Thursday, right underneath its Tower Bridge Road pub. The space will be known as the Bump Caves and will come complete with its own distillery, as well as art exhibitions. The signature serve will be the ‘Beer and a Bump’, which pairs a craft beer with a home-distilled spirit. Kind of like a chaser, we guess. The interesting-sounding Caves are inspired by the late 60s psychedelic movement, according to founder Charlie McVeigh.
Name changes, game changes
Brixton chicken restaurant Wishbone is currently being rebranded as ChickenLiquor, in line with its sibling restaurant MeatLiquor. We’ve also heard that newly-launched no-choice restaurant Beast (where the only option is steak and King crab) might shortly be going back on its word and offering choices. Have diners not been liking the you’ll-have-what-you’re-given approach?
This week has seen the launch of Arabica Bar & Kitchen at Borough Market. It’s the first permanent restaurant from James Walters who has been selling mezze-style food at the market for almost 15 years. Beak Street steak spot Flat Iron has opened a second branch not too far away on Denmark Street near Centre Point. Sustainability-focused all-day restaurant T.E.D. (that’s Think, Eat, Drink) has opened in King’s Cross. And in Homerton, the Adam & Eve pub has launched, brought about by the people behind The Cornish Grill with input from Michelin-starred chef Alyn Williams.
There is also a host of openings planned for next week. All-day eatery Strand Dining Rooms launches near Trafalgar Square, Soho tapas restaurant Barrafina starts a second site in Covent Garden, and WC opens near Clapham Common Tube, offering wine and charcuterie in a former public toilet.
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