Welcome to our reinstated weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene, back by popular(ish) demand.
Inside this week: local restaurants, pig's blood, chillies and gin.
New In The Neighbourhood
If you thought the recent storm was bad, just take a look at London’s restaurant scene. The capital has been flooded with new openings in the last couple of weeks as restaurateurs vie to be up and off the ground in time for the Christmas rush. It’s interesting to see a good scattering of beyond zone 1 spots among them, including Zumbura, a small plate-serving Indian in Clapham, which aims to show off the best of the Purab region of North India, and is already enjoying impressive feedback; Augustine Kitchen, opened in Battersea by the former chef of London’s oldest French restaurant, Mon Plaisir; and Sicilian Ballaro in Belsize Park which yesterday received a glowing 3-star review from Fay Maschler in the Evening Standard. Have you tried any of them?
It’s also been a busy time for expansions, with London’s small chains going into overdrive. Popular pub group ETM (think The Jugged Hare in the City or The Botanist at Sloane Square) have launched One Canada Square; Brixton original Honest Burgers have arrived in Portobello; Soho ramen joint Tonkotsu have launched Tonkotsu East just off Kingsland Road; Vinoteca have opened their fourth wine bar, a little further out of town in Chiswick; and does-what-it-says-on-the-tin Covent Garden cheese and fizz shop Champagne & Fromage have arrived in Brixton Village. Those who like to eat late will also celebrate the opening of 24 hour restaurant VQ in Bloomsbury, following on from their longstanding Fulham Road spot.
It would, of course, be wrong to sign off without giving today’s date a mention, and if you’re on the look-out for some last-minute spookiness then fear not as London’s restaurants, cafes and bars have it all ghoulishly planned out. The City of London Distillery are hosting a “horrors of Gin Lane party” tonight from six until late; New Street Grill by Liverpool Street have lined up a creepy DJ as well as some ghastly cocktails; and at nearby Paternoster Chop House, there’s a free drink for anyone in fancy dress. There’s still availability at all venues.
For a more casual scare, Italian gelato bar Gelupo in Soho are serving a special Sanguinaccio flavour from today until the end of next week. If you’re any good at Latin there’s a clue in the title: it features pig blood, along with chocolate. At Herman Ze German sausage shops today you can order a Killer Currywurst, where one slice of wurst is worse than the rest as it will be laced “an eye-watering godfather’s hell kiss that will make even the most experienced of chilli-eaters grab for the glass of milk on hand”. Nice.
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