Welcome to our weekly digest of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: spin-offs, off-shoots and openings
The chef who helped launch Venetian small plates restaurant group Polpo will open his own restaurant in Islington this spring. Tom Oldroyd — who has been with the group for more than five years — has quit his role as chef director to focus on an eponymous restaurant called Oldroyd which he will open on Upper Street in June. It will serve a daily-changing European menu based on seasonal British produce, and also offer weekend brunches. Dishes already announced include confit mustard duck wings and pea and pork jowl croquettes.
Corbin to Islington
Also in Islington, details have been revealed of the new restaurant set to open there from prolific restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. It will be called Bellanger — named after French car the Société des Automobiles Bellanger Frères — and is being described as a "brasserie in the proper Alsace tradition". It opens near Islington Green in the autumn. Corbin and King also run The Wolseley on Piccadilly, The Delaunay at Aldwych, Colbert in Chelsea, Brasserie Zedel at Piccadilly Circus, Fischer’s in Marylebone and Colony Grill Room in Mayfair.
The inaugural GQ Food & Drink Awards were held this week, and London restaurants dominated the list of winners. These include The Palomar for best restaurant and The Connaught Bar for best bar. The prize for best chef went to Barrafina’s Nieves Barragán Mohacho while Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde of wine bars Sager + Wilde and Mission were crowned joint best sommelier.
Well-known chef Shaun Rankin will come to London next year, launching a restaurant in Mayfair’s Flemings hotel as part of its £14m refurbishment. Rankin — who runs Michelin-starred Ormer on Jersey — will cook a menu built around his Jersey heritage and ingredients from the area. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant is due to open in early 2016.
North African grill restaurant Berber & Q is now open in Haggerston, while dim sum bar and nightclub Fu Manchu opens in Clapham today. Tomorrow marks the arrival of Dalston pizza place Voodoo Rays in Boxpark, as well as the anticipated launch of cheese toastie café Melt Room in Soho. Next week sees José Pizarro open in Broadgate, truffle restaurant Tartufi and Friends open in Harrods (in case you have some cash to burn), and Taberna do Mercado — the new restaurant from Chiltern Firehouse chef Nuno Mendes — will run its soft-launch opening from 4-9 May.
Young’s pub The Canonbury in Islington is getting a complete overhaul, with Oisin Rogers — the very well-respected former manager of The Ship in Wandsworth — taking the helm. It’s due to re-launch late this month. Also this spring, a sister site to Fitzrovia’s 1920s-themed cocktail bar and restaurant The Lucky Pig will open in Fulham, and a fourth branch of Spanish tapas group Camino will open in Bankside, joining sites in King’s Cross, Blackfriars and the City. Later in the summer relaxed French eatery Piquet debuts in Fitzrovia, and in July a restaurant and wine bar called Vinothec Compass will open in Greenwich as part of a luxury, state-of-the-art golf driving range.
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.
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