A taste of what’s what in recent and upcoming London food and drink news:
The chain-ification of Soho continues with the opening of a new Giraffe Bar & Grill. Find it on Frith Street alongside Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Nando's. Snarky concerns for an indie W1 aside, Giraffe is sticking its neck out to present this “very grown up” version of its generally family friendly approach to dining out. The new two-story site is certainly more attractive and paired down than the usual Giraffe. Burgers are decent, flatbread pizzas pretty yummy and cocktails better than you might expect. Judging from attendees' reactions during its launch party and subsequent strolls by finding the place packed, Giraffe Soho appears to be a hit with the punters.
Just round the corner on Dean Street, food blogger and underground restaurant trailblazer, Miss Marmite Lover, is whipping up a less corporate and more exclusive experience for those wishing to sip and sup in Soho with a Sunday lunch “Compleat Menu” at Georgian townhouse members' club, Blacks. The menu highlights 18th century tastes with dishes such as celery soup, stargazy pie, meringue with salted caramel and black pepper strawberries, orange flower water profiteroles and drinks such as citron pressée, home-made barley water and ale along with French and Italian wines. Open to members and non members, the lunch is served from 1pm to 5pm, with tickets priced at £35 (excluding wine). Payment must be made in advance to confirm reservation. To book, call 020 7734 5399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over at Ladbroke Grove, Dock Kitchen is to put on a market showing off a selection of its favourite producers. From Italian veggies to natural wines and “delicious” spice mixes, the market will be on DK's terrace from 11am to 5pm tomorrow (Friday 24 June) with the kitchen open during the market and offering a set lunch menu as well (£14.50 for 2 courses, £18 for 3 courses).
A new raised terrace overlooking the Courtyard at five star hotel, 51 Buckingham Gate, is now open serving dinner and drinks from 5pm to 11pm throughout the week until September (excluding special event music nights). The terrace holds 30 people with a jasmine surrounded lofty view of the courtyard activities below and the hotel's Shakespearean terracotta frieze of its townhouse exterior. The terrace bar specialises in Rémy Martin cognacs as well as “prestige champagnes”, rare, aged armagnacs and whiskies, and good selection of fine cigars.
Also at 51 Buckingham Gate, its Micheline starred Indian restaurant, Quilon, has introduced a new British beer matching menu available for a minimum of two guests. A poshed up version of ye olde curry and lager standby, the five course menu runs £65 and pairs popadums and tomato chutney paired with Ceilidh Lager by Williams Bros; lotus stem chop with mango sauce and spiced stir-fried oysters with Fuller’s Bengal Lancer, a “Quilon Salad” of mixed greens with patty pan dressed in lavender and kokum infusion followed by baked black cod paired with oaky Innis & Gunn Blonde Oak Aged Beer; lamb biryani followed by coconut asparagus and mange tout with Chalky’s Bite from Sharp’s. A lentil cappuccino served with cardamom short breads, fig and pressed honey ice cream completes the beery feast with Sam Smith’s Organic Cherry Beer. An eight course beer and food menu (with Brit and non-Brit brews) is also on offer at £85.