Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: smack, gangs and something fishy
Smack my dish up
Whichever route your mind takes, imagining the contents of a new Mayfair spot called Smack Deli has the potential to become NSFW pretty quickly. In fact, the only red-cheeked things within it are lobsters: and lots of them. When Smack Deli opens next week, it will be London’s first dedicated lobster roll shop, brought to us by the company behind Goodman Steak Restaurants, Burger & Lobster and Beast. Brioche rolls filled with the luxurious crustacean will come with varying sauces and toppings, and cost £7 to take-away or £9 to eat-in.
On the subject of unusual restaurant names, violent gang-controlled areas aren’t generally top of the list. But that’s exactly what the team behind Jago have done. The term was used in Victorian times to refer to a ‘no-go zone’ running between the Shoreditch High Street and Spitalfields areas, focused around the notorious Old Nichol housing estate. Cuisine-wise, it’s also an interesting one with a menu influenced by the cooking of southern Europe, the Middle East and Ashkenazi Jews. Not sure what that means? Well, some of the resultant dishes includes harissa-marinated mackerel, braised lamb with dates and carrots, and poached quince with saffron cream. Jago is being brought about by an ex-Ottolenghi head chef and a former GM at Morito. It will occupy the front of Shoreditch’s Second Home creative office space development on Hanbury Street when it opens in mid-November.
From the world’s best bars to the latest Michelin stars, there’s been no shortage of award ceremonies and foodie accolades of late. The latest batch of winners were announced at the London Restaurant Festival Awards, which coincided with the end of two weeks’ worth of events. The prestigious Restaurant of the Year gong went to The Clove Club in Shoreditch, while other winners included chefs from Merchant’s Tavern and Barrafina, and there was praise for festival menus from Picture, Foxlow and Cinnamon Soho.
Ceviche the second
Adding to the growing number of Peruvian restaurants in London, the founder of Soho’s Ceviche, Martin Morales, has announced that he will launch a second branch near Old Street in spring next year. It will open on Baldwin Street just off City Road, and will be the third Peruvian restaurant from Morales along with Andina which is not far away on Redchurch Street. The news follows recent Peruvian openings Pachamama and Señor Ceviche.
This week marked the launch of Lobster Kitchen in Bloomsbury, Thai barbecue restaurant Smoking Goat in Soho, and the second branch of Deep South-themed Jackson & Rye in Richmond. Next week sees all-day Provençal restaurant Café Pistou open on Exmouth Market and Japanese robata grill restaurant Roka launch its fourth venue in Aldwych. November also sees gin-heavy British restaurant Old Tom & English come to Soho, day-time coffee and snack spot turned night-time booze den One Two Five Church Street arrive in Stoke Newington, and Pennethorne’s Café Bar open in Somerset House, serving salads, sandwiches and more, along with coffee, beers and wines.
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