New Restaurant Bucks Credit Woes

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 120 months ago
New Restaurant Bucks Credit Woes
Spaghetti with mussels

Our economy is being crunched by a credit conundrum, and the pennies in your pocket are being squeezed to within an inch of their copper lives - a loaf of bread now costs approximately £1,600 plus VAT, and financial planners are offering guidance on weighty investment decisions, like whether to purchase one- or two-ply toilet paper. Things are tight.

So are the good times over? Not if you're a City banker. Despite melodramatic predictions of a Square Mile massacre, the new economic realities have yet to dawn: in 2008, so far £13.2bn has been awarded in bonuses - a notch down from the £13.3bn doled out at this stage last year, but still a fair slice of cash.

But what should all those bulging nifties in the back pocket be splurged on? Perhaps a spot of haute cuisine. Chef Francesco Mazzei (responsible for St Alban on Regents Street) is bucking the economic stormclouds by opening a new, lavish restaurant on the fringes of the financial district. L'Anima, on Snowden Street in Hoxton, is banking on enticing the hordes of Liverpool Street-bound commuters to take a quick detour and deposit some of their earnings on such delicacies as hand-carved San Daniele ham and fish stew with Sardinian fregola. Mazzei, a southern Italian, is using the dishes of his native land as the central palette, but aims to introduce elements of other Mediterranean cuisine as he sees fit.

We wish Mazzei all the best, and salute his chutzpah in biting his thumb at the economic maelstrom. Sadly Londonist's bonus was less than expected this year, and we'll be favouring brunch at the local fried chicken shop rather than amidst the "luxurious minimalism" L'Amina offers, but we suspect that this place just might find a following among the rich and powerful.

Image courtesy of _JohnMuir's Flickrstream via the Creative Commons Attribution license

Last Updated 27 May 2008


I work upstairs from L'Anima and have been waiting for it to open for the last 6 months. They're shooting interiors today (for advertising, I expect) which hopefully means they're not going to redesign and rebuild it again, which they've been doing every few weeks for the last few months...


Interesting... maybe they'll get a few snaps for their website while they're at it? Looks pretty threadbare at the moment (unless the artful minimalism extends to their online presence too).


Just to put that figure in context - those are the bonuses for 2007 (which on the whole was a good year given the stonking first half). The figure you hear this time next year will be a lot lower. Saying that "in 2008, so far £13.2bn has been awarded in bonuses" makes it sound like bonus payments run at £2.6bn per month in 2008, which really isn't the case. In fairness, most of the press has done exactly the same.


Ah, thanks for clearing that up - I did think it seemed like a huge amount paid over just five months, but as you note, most of the press has reported it as such.