Welcome to our weekly round-up of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: returning boozers, chillies and French fusion
Back to the boozer
Historic Kentish Town boozer and live music venue the Bull & Gate closed in May 2013, to much sadness in the local area. New owners Young’s promised to relaunch it with much of its character retained, and the company has now announced that it will open its doors again on 10 April. It will come with a dining room offering a gastro menu including smoked lamb shoulder, steaks and seaweed-poached hake, and will serve more down-to-earth dishes and snacks in the main pub space. The upstairs will be transformed into a stand-alone bar offering cocktails and live background music. Whether or not all of this fits in with the retention of character remains to be seen.
A piece of France arrives in Fitzrovia next week, with the opening of Big Fernand on Percy Street. It will be the first international outlet for the chain, which specialises in hamburgers with a French twist and has eight sites across France (three in Paris). It will serve burgers adorned with unpasteurised French cheeses such as tomme de savoie, raclette or fourme d'ambert, freshly chopped herbs and homemade sauces. There’ll also be plenty of wine and French fries, naturally.
And Fitzrovia will get another injection of cross-channel culinary action when a new bakery billed as an ‘Asian-inspired boulangerie’ launches on Goodge Street on 26 March. MoBa — which references Modern Bakery — will blend traditional French pastries with bold Asian flavours, with bakes including green tea croissants, spicy pineapple pastries and lime éclairs. It will also offer traditional Vietnamese bánh mi sandwiches.
Get in a pickle
Broadway Market’s butcher’s-shop-turned-restaurant Hill & Szrok will play host to catering company Pickle London on 15 March, who are serving a five-course chilli-themed dinner. The menu includes a ginger and salmon ceviche with avocado purée and a scotch bonnet and pineapple sauce; lamb chops marinated in naga chillies; and Sichuan beef carpaccio with ricotta and black truffle balls. It may be a case of: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the butcher’s shop.
A truffle expensive
Got some cash to burn? Expecting a windfall this spring? Harrods have come up with a new way to help you spend it — a truffle restaurant will be launching at the department store in April. It will be the third branch of Tartufi and Friends, which already has outlets in Milan and Rome, and will feature a £75 hamburger alongside other dishes which all include either black or white truffle. The cheapest dish will be a black truffle omelette for £20, with the white truffle equivalent costing £39.
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