Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: noodles, noir and newcomers
Oodles of noodles
Noodles are coming to London in sumo proportions at the moment. This week saw United Ramen launch on Upper Street, serving creative takes on the classic Japanese dish, including a roast beef ramen. St Giles High Street is getting a double: popular Japanese noodle restaurant Kanada-Ya has just opened up there, while much-loved Fukuoka-based chain Ippudo will shortly launch its first European branch right opposite. Meanwhile Tonkotsu, which has noodle bars in Soho and Haggerston, has teamed up with pork restaurant Blackfoot to create a special dish: San-Shu Pork Ramen translates as ‘three types of pork’ and features a rich broth topped with slow-cooked and smoked belly pork. It’s available throughout September at both Tonkotsu Soho and Blackfoot. It’s official, then: September is noodle month.
Just when you thought London had all niches covered, another one comes along. When Bang Bang launches next month on Warren Street, it will combine Vietnamese street food and film noir. Details around the concept are intriguingly vague, but it’s said to be inspired by immersive theatre group Punchdrunk, and we’re promised dishes which channel the film style and are served to customers as part of a ‘film noir journey’. The look of the restaurant will also be in keeping with the theme. Dishes on the menu will include lobster pho and chicken wings laced with fish sauce.
Good Food gongs
The restaurants which have made it into the Good Food Guide 2015 have been announced and London has shone brighter than ever as the star of the UK’s restaurant scene. The capital occupies half of the coveted top ten, with Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in third place gaining the maximum score. Hibiscus is in fifth place, Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social in sixth, The Square in eighth, and Notting Hill’s The Ledbury in tenth. 11 other London restaurants made it into the top 50, including new entries for Simon Rogan’s Claridge’s restaurant Fera at 19, and Chiltern Firehouse at 48. These awards follow London scooping big wins at the National Restaurant Awards and World’s 50 Best Awards, although it’s interesting to note that it’s not all the same restaurants which are winning big. National Restaurant Awards winner Gymkhana doesn’t even feature in this list.
For the first time, The Good Food Guide also announced its list of best pubs this year. They’re all of the food-heavy gastro ilk, but unlike in the Top 50 Gastropub Awards where London raked in the accolades, the capital has mustered just four entries. It’s good news for Fulham, with SW6 spots The Harwood Arms and The Malt House coming in at 15 and 38 respectively. Lower down the list, The Camberwell Arms is ranked number 47 and The Smokehouse in Islington is at 49.
A new grill restaurant called Jacob’s Ladder will open shortly in Soho in a former illegal strip club on Great Windmill Street. Will Beckett and Huw Gott, the pair behind the Hawksmoor restaurant group, are “helping out a bit”, leading us to think it’s going to be one to watch. Elsewhere, Hawaiian restaurant Pond officially launches in Dalston tomorrow offering dishes including shrimp and rice crusted black cod, smoky beef ribs and fried whole catfish. Chez Antoinette, a restaurant specialising in French tartines is gearing up to open in Covent Garden, and next month will see Peruvian-inspired restaurant Pachamama launch in Marylebone.
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