Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: solo, shut, meatballs and murder
The AA has announced the latest batch of restaurants to be awarded the top accolade of three and four rosettes. While the capital didn’t gain any new four-rosette spots, 11 of the 21 three rosette-winning new restaurants were in London. They include: Jason Atherton’s City Social and Little Social, Typing Room in Bethnal Green, the recently refurbished restaurant in The Goring and Ramsay’s London House in Battersea.
Solo in Soho
Dutch restaurant Eenmaal — which only accommodates tables of one, and is big news in Amsterdam — is popping up in Soho for two days at the end of the month. It’s part of a partnership with water brand Glacéau Smartwater, and two-course meals on 29 and 30 January will be offered free to customers who sign-up via the brand’s twitter — keep an eye on it from 22 January for details. More interestingly, we’ve heard that a permanent solo dining site could be opening in London before long — watch this space.
Shutting up shop
Two long-standing London restaurants are to close their doors for good this week. 12 year-old French brasserie Racine is no more, with chef and restaurateur Henry Harris putting his decision to sell down to the "rapidly shifting residential demographic" in its Knightsbridge location. And in Covent Garden, Porters restaurant will serve its final customers this week after being a big Theatreland name for 35 years; it will then relocate to Berkhamsted. Owner the Earl of Bradford said: “There is nowhere that is a more symbolic English landmark than Covent Garden and it is extraordinary to think that after January there will be nowhere in the area where you will be able to enjoy reasonably priced English food. With the ridiculous prices now being charged for leases in London, it is becoming virtually impossible to open a restaurant serving sensibly priced food.”
Meatballs and murder
Meatballs will be getting a look-in as part of the third annual VAULT arts festival, starting this month in the tunnels under Waterloo station. Marco’s Meatballs is an immersive dining experience from the Peckham-based Forza Win team, promising to transport diners to “an imaginary 1980s traditional South London family Italian”, along with a murder mystery element. The £15 ticket price includes a meal of spaghetti and meatballs and a glass of red — what else happens will be revealed on the night. The restaurant runs from 28 Jan until 8 March, tickets are available through Forza Win.
New restaurants aplenty have opened up this week following a brief new year lull. Hackney Central has gained a branch of ramen restaurant Tonkotsu; gastropub The Tommy Tucker has launched in Fulham, from the team behind Claude’s Kitchen; and Judy Joo has opened Korean restaurant and bar Jinjuu in Soho. Looking further ahead, Michelin-starred Spanish chef David Muñoz will open StreetXo in Mayfair in March, and in the same month Covent Garden eatery Joe’s Southern Kitchen & Bar will open a second branch in Kentish Town.
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