London Food & Drink News: 24 November 2011

By tikichris Last edited 86 months ago
London Food & Drink News: 24 November 2011

has just recently opened a second location at Canary Wharf continuing its “signature style of traditional Spanish cuisine with a contemporary twist designed by Nacho Manzano, Executive Chef of two Michelin Star, Casa Marcial. It appears to be a close match to its original Marylebone venue, which should be a good thing for folks living and working easterly and in the mood for some quality Spanish food and drink.

Belgravia's stylish The Halkin hotel has launched a “Couture Chocolate Afternoon Tea” featuring chocolate delicacies by famed chocolatier William Curley. Fancy a chocolate financier with passion fruit curd, orange and chocolate Sacher sea salt caramel and raspberry tart, Black Forest dome or some chocolate macaroons to accompany your finger sandwiches and scones? This decadent tea in a swish setting is available between 3pm and 6pm daily and priced at £37.50 per person (£47.50 with Champagne).

Two starred Michelin chef Marcus Wareing will be joined by The Guardian's Matthew Fort at the Apple Store in Covent Garden on 1 December at 7pm to talk about the Great British Chef's new Feastive App and to answer any culinary queries you may have, festive or not. The event is free but Apple Store advises to “come early, as space is limited”.

Ubiquitous restaurant chain, Ask Italian, has gone through a long overdue revamp of its menus and interiors. Enlisting the help of chef Theo Randall (our 2010 interview with Theo here) and wine expert Adrian Garforth, things are certainly a whole lot better than they used to be. The spruced up Spring Street location near Paddington showcases the best of what they've done and have in mind to roll out across Britain. Londonist was surprised by how much we enjoyed sampling Ask's new dishes at a recent press event. Menus have been simplified with a focus on better quality ingredients while the wine list has been updated to reflect today's tastes and increased knowledge of Italian wines … and to keep up with all the Jamie's, Carluccio's and other Italo-wannabe competitors on the market.

A bit cheesy perhaps (and no pun intended) but for a short time there's a pretty tasty “prima pizza natale” on offer featuring tomato, mozzarella, chicken, smoked prosciutto, sautéed mixed mushrooms and Grana Padano and “served with a side-mix of sautéed chestnut, red onion and pancetta for you to add the finishing touches”. It's actually tasty, and at £10.95 might be a good way to check out what Ask has been up to recently.

The Bar With No Name at 69 Colebrooke Row will be offering two festive season masterclasses. The Holiday Cocktail Masterclass will be the on 3 December and offer lessons in how to make eggnog, punch, perfect martinis and Champagne cocktails. The class will be open and interactive with “Q&A encouraged”. All supplies will be provided as well as the opportunity to mix drinks yourselves and enjoy them in the group. Guests will be supplied with a list of cocktails and the recipes for each. The cost is £40.

Bartender Tony Conigliaro will be available head up a private Christmas drinks classes to “help participants master classic cocktails, including the Manhattan, negroni and martini”. The private classes will cost £40 per head (minimum ten people, maximum 25) with food available on request and get you behind the bar to have a peek at “London’s first mixology laboratory to house centrifuges, water baths, sous-vide vacuum cooking machines, smoke guns, a cold smoker and stills”.

Contact or call 07540 528 593 for more information and reservations.

Photo/Chris Osburn

Last Updated 24 November 2011