Welcome to our weekly digest of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: Nuno, doughnuts and éclairs
Chiltern Firehouse and ex-Viajante chef Nuno Mendes is opening a restaurant in Spitalfields next month, it has been confirmed. Taberna do Mercado will be open all day and will serve Mendes’s native Portuguese cuisine; it will also be a much more casual affair than his other restaurants. Further details are sparse, but it’s set to open on 11 May with a soft-launch period before that from 4 May. Despite rumours of Mendes leaving Chiltern Firehouse, for the time being he’ll remain in charge of the food over there too.
A takeaway shop dedicated to éclairs has opened as part of the Savoy hotel. Melba — named after opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, who stayed at the hotel in the 19th century — will serve a wide range of seasonally-changing éclair flavours, including passion fruit, lemon meringue and salted caramel. It’s set on the Strand and will also offer hot and cold drinks, pastries and sandwiches.
Crosstown in town
Indulgent doughnut purveyors Crosstown Doughnuts will launch their first permanent shop next week, on Soho’s Broadwick Street. The sweet dough specialists are currently running a pop-up within Piccadilly Circus station, and can also be found at Broadway and Leather Lane markets. Their Soho outlet will stock the brand’s most extensive range of flavours, including sea salted caramel with banana and chocolate truffle along with plenty of summery seasonal specials. It will also be the very first place to serve Assembly Coffee, which is made in collaboration with coffee experts from across London and officially launches at the London Coffee Festival at the end of the month.
It’s going to be a busy year for Kurt Zdesar, the restaurateur behind Soho’s Japanese and Peruvian-influenced Chotto Matte and co-founder of the Ping Pong chain. In early June he’ll launch seafood restaurant Bouillabaisse in Mayfair, followed by three more restaurants before the year is out. Little is known about the upcoming sites, but they will all be fairly close together in Fitzrovia and Marylebone on Chiltern Street, Mortimer Street and Wimpole Street.
A new restaurant and bar will arrive on the roof of Selfridges next month, replacing this winter’s now-closed Le Chalet pop-up. It's to be called Vintage Salt and will be designed to look and feel like a Cornish fishing village. Food will include oysters, lobster butties and fish and chips; the weather and shipping forecasts will be printed on menus; and the ‘drift bar’ will be painted to look like beach huts. Also expect deck chairs and gin cocktails. It will open on 1 May and is being brought about by Des McDonald Restaurants, which laid on Le Chalet and also runs Q Grill in Camden, The Holborn Dining Room and the Fish & Chip Shop chain. See our round-up of London’s best rooftop bars for more scenic sipping spots.
This week marked the launch of Carl Clarke’s fried chicken and cocktail restaurant Chick N Sours in Hackney Central, apothecary-inspired restaurant Tonic & Remedy in Hoxton and a second branch of Gordon Ramsay’s Mayfair restaurant Maze Grill, this time in Fulham. Tomorrow sees the arrival of North African grill restaurant Berber & Q in Haggerston, and next week unusual-sounding dim sum bar and nightclub Fu Manchu will open in Clapham.
Mommi, described as a Japanese-Latin raw and bar and grill, opens on Clapham High Street in early June — from the group behind nearby disco bar Infernos. The restaurant will serve ceviche, sushi-style dishes and meat and fish cooked on a robata grill. As well as Infernos, owners Mint Group also run nearby restaurant and bar Bison & Bird as well as Mary Janes in the City, Elk in Fulham and Koko in Camden.
Shoreditch fried chicken restaurant Bird will expand to a second site this summer. It has taken over former pub The Bailey on Holloway Road, close to Highbury & Islington station.
Also this summer barbecue restaurant group Red’s True BBQ, which has branches in Manchester, Leeds and Nottingham, will open its first London site on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, and a branch of French chain Aubaine will open at the Hyde Park Hilton on Bayswater Road.
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.
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