Welcome to our weekly digest of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: parliamentary lunches, Greek and goodbyes
With MPs dissolved in the run-up to the election, the restaurants in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords will open to the public for a limited number of lunches. The House of Commons Members’ Dining Room is up for grabs on 8, 9, 28 and 29 April, serving dishes including London cure smoked salmon with horseradish cream, lemon gel and sumac sea salt, and smoked halibut with slow-poached duck egg. Over at the House of Lords, the Peers’ Dining Room will open on weekdays from 14 April - 8 May and serve more classic dishes such as pressed game terrine and slow-cooked ox cheek. Both restaurants will charge £35 for three courses, and you should be prepared for airport-style security and a ‘no photos’ rule. Pre-booking for either the House of Commons or House of Lords is essential.
Farewell for thought
Covent Garden’s longstanding vegetarian restaurant Food for Thought is to close, after more than 40 years of trading. It has always been run as a co-operative, and the team behind it say the decision is based on increasing rent prices in the area. A statement on its website reads: "Suffice it to say that we have had enough. We have enjoyed cooking beans but there is no fun when the entire focus is on counting them. To continue in Neal Street would require compromising the principles on which it has been run." There is more information on the restaurant’s history and insight into this decision in this article from the Guardian, but more importantly — where to go for a strawberry and banana scrunch now?
It’s all Greek
Hellenic cuisine is hot stuff. Two more Greek eateries are on their way to the capital in the coming weeks, following the lead of The Greek Larder in King’s Cross recently as well as Marylebone’s Opso and Soho’s 21 Bateman Street not so long ago. Hungry Donkey opens in Aldgate later this month serving a menu of Greek ‘street food’ based around pittas filled with a choice of different meat and vegetables. Then in May, an Athenian grill house will open — appropriately enough — on Soho’s Greek Street, dedicated to souvlaki kebabs along with Greek wines and craft beers.
Open this week is Flat Three in Holland Park, which intriguingly merges Japanese, Korean and Scandinavian influences. The second branch of Hawksmoor sister restaurant Foxlow has arrived in Stoke Newington, and is on soft-launch with 50% off food until April 8. West End classic The Ivy has launched western outpost Ivy Chelsea Garden, while a second branch of Soho’s Ceviche has come to Old Street. Next will see Covent Garden’s Joe’s Southern Kitchen launch a site in Kentish Town, and street food sensations Bao London will open a bricks and mortar site in Soho. This week also marks the start of Fitzrovia’s Spanish-Italian restaurant Salt Yard — sister to Ember Yard — serving Sunday roasts, while 108 Brasserie in Marylebone has launched a new chef’s table — confusingly named Table 9 — which offers a selection of five tasting menus starting at £45 a head. They are based on British and Mediterranean food and flavours.
The team behind Fulham’s acclaimed Manuka Kitchen will open Salt & Honey Bistro close to Lancaster Gate station next month. The food planned is described as having a British focus with forays into Europe and Australasia; dishes will include lemongrass and manuka honey cured salmon, beef fillet and shin with girolles, and a manuka honey and saffron brûlée. In the summer ramen joint Ippudo will launch a second London site in Canary Wharf. The announcement comes around six months after the Japan-based international chain launched its first European site in Covent Garden, which we reviewed. Looking further ahead, D&D London — the restaurant group behind more than 25 sites in the capital including Coq d’Argent, Launceston Place and Quaglino’s — has announced plans for a massive new site in Victoria. The 10,000 sq ft space will be part of the Nova development right by the station and is set to include a restaurant, café, bar and food shop when it opens in autumn 2016.
We round-up London’s biggest food and drink news stories and the latest new and upcoming restaurant openings in this handy digest every Thursday afternoon. See our previous editions.
The Best Food And Drink In London — recommendations of where to enjoy the capital’s top food and drink, categorised by cuisine, food type and more.
New Restaurant Reviews — our views on London’s latest openings.
More food and drink on Londonist.