Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: Ramsay, roll-outs and Russians
The Gordon Ramsay Group will open a second Maze Grill site in April, at 11 Park Walk in Chelsea. There’s been a lot of hype around Ramsay’s purchase of the site — which was where he opened Aubergine back in 1993 and won his first two Michelin stars — so the news that it will be a roll-out rather than a new concept is somewhat disappointing. It follows the opening late last year of Heddon Street Kitchen (which we found underwhelming) in the West End, which could effectively be seen as another branch of his City restaurant Bread Street Kitchen. A bit more creativity please, Gordon.
In a bold move, tapas group Brindisa is set to open up a restaurant in Barcelona. It will be called La Volta Brindisa Bar Restaurante and opens in April. Founder Monika Linton said: "Opening in Spain is an incredibly important opportunity for us as having permanent roots in the city helps us to broaden our understanding of Spain and delve deeper into Spanish cuisine.” In the meantime, the group — which opened its first restaurant at London Bridge in 2004 — is about to open its fifth London restaurant. Morada Brindisa Asador arrives on Soho’s Rupert Street on 9 March and will focus on meat, fish and vegetables cooked over charcoal.
A Russian restaurant group with 15 sites across Moscow and St Petersburg opens in London this Spring. Soho’s Frith Street has been chosen as the site for the first international branch of Jean-Jacques, a chain serving traditional French food and wine. Frankly we’re rather nonplussed at the idea of a Russian restaurant group coming to town to serve the cuisine of our neighbours across the channel. But we reckon the French will be similarly bemused to be getting a number of Jamie’s Italian restaurants later this year.
The Dissenting Academy pub in Newington Green is getting a rejig next month, with MasterChef winner Natalie Coleman taking over from 18 March. She’ll be launching a menu that includes gin-cured salmon, slow-roast pork shoulder and a burger, while there is also talk of brewing her own ale.
Oyster and seafood-focused restaurant group Wright Brothers opens its fourth site this summer, adding a South Kensington address to its locations in Borough, Soho and Spitalfields. The new restaurant will be most reminiscent in style to the laid-back Borough original, and will include a bar area that serves ‘pound a pop’ oysters during happy hour.
Engawa, a teppanyaki restaurant specialising in Kobe beef opened in Piccadilly this week, as part of the Ham Yard Hotel. In Shoreditch, Omar Allibhoy launched Spanish restaurant Tapas Revolution (on soft-launch until 24 February). And chops and cocktail spot Blacklock arrived in Soho. Relaxed British restaurant Hood opens in Streatham tomorrow, running on soft-launch (with 50% off food) until 26 February. Monday sees the arrival of Antipodean café Friends Of Ours on Pitfield Street. It will open until 5pm daily and serve dishes including sweet potato and courgette rosti with poached eggs, crispy bacon and avocado; buttermilk fried chicken with a potato waffle; and ‘posh cheese on toast’. And on Tuesday (after quite a delay) NYC-inspired The Fourteenth Colonie opens on Clerkenwell Road.
The team behind Soho’s Damson & Co will open all-day eatery Queenswood in Battersea Square next month. Its eclectic globally-influenced menu will feature the likes of corn and coconut cakes; Goan-style lamb chops with curried rice, lime, fresh mint and coriander; and steamed clams with ginger, coconut, chilli and okra. There will be a particularly large number of vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as a focus on healthy options. More centrally, March also sees Japanese bar The Woodstock open just off Oxford Street. It will specialise in kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and also serve a wide array of Japanese drinks, including sakes, shochu, umeshu and Japanese whiskies and beers.
Talk to us
We still want your help to keep these weekly food & drink news round-ups as relevant, up-to-date, and interesting as possible. Got any top tips, local gems or foodie news? Tried one of the new restaurants we mentioned? Leave a comment below or hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘Til next week…