Welcome to our weekly digest of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: street food, playgrounds and toilets
Street food steps up a notch
Street food organisation Street Feast — behind Dalston Yard, Model Market and Dinerama — morphed into London Union today. Street Feast’s Jonathan Downey has launched the new company with Henry Dimbleby, the founder of healthy fast food chain Leon, and has raised over a million pounds' worth of investment from big name industry figures including Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Yotam Ottolenghi. The pair plan to open a large central London market next year, selling both produce and street food, as well as launching 15 local street food markets around London across the next five years. They are currently eyeing up a former Smithfield Market site, and are in talks with TfL about a possible floating market on the Thames.
Francesco finds a new home
There’s been a fair bit of speculation about what was next for Italian chef Francesco Mazzei since he left his City restaurant L’anima in the spring. This week it was revealed that he’ll be joining Mayfair restaurant Sartoria and leading the kitchen there. The Savile Row restaurant will shut for refurbishment later this summer and relaunch later in the year.
A summertime bar and restaurant called Brooksby’s Walk is popping up on Homerton’s street of the same name, in a former public toilet. It’s coming from chef Giorgio Ravelli and front-of-house Jarrod Cooke who previously worked together at Upstairs at the Ten Bells, and will focus on Northern Italian dishes for sharing. The bar is open now serving cocktails and natural wines, while the full restaurant will open on 2 July. There will be brunches on Saturdays and an all-day barbecue on Sundays.
Sipping on the stock markets
A stock market-themed bar where drink prices fluctuate according to popularity has opened in the City. Reserve Bar Stock Exchange on Gresham Street operates a ‘beer market’, a ‘spirits market’ and an ‘alternative market’, with big screens showing the current prices of drinks — the more of one thing that is bought, the more expensive it gets and the cheaper everything else gets. You can also expect to see ‘crashes’ up to a few times a night when sirens will sound, lights flash and prices fall.
Playground in the sky
A new food and craft market and rooftop bar is coming to London Fields. Playground & Proof will launch on 4 July, from the team behind Victoria Park’s Winterville. The ‘playground’ will feature food stalls including The Cheese Truck and ice cream sandwiches from Milo and Hector’s alongside all kinds of fashion and craft offerings and run on weekends from 10am to 6pm. The ‘proof’ side of things will feature tequila cocktails from Quiquiriqui and beers from Five Points Brewery, and will serve from Thursdays to Sundays from 6pm until 11pm.
This week has marked the arrival of a new branch of popular brunch spot Granger & Co in King’s Cross (be prepared to queue), ex-Ramsay chef Mark Sargeant’s British brasserie Morden & Lea in Soho and a permanent space for street food act Street Kitchen within Broadgate Circle.
Next week’s openings include seafood restaurant Bouillabaisse in Mayfair from Kurt Zdesar, the man behind Soho’s Chotto Matte; a second branch of Angela Hartnett’s informal Italian Café Murano in Covent Garden; and US steakhouse Smith & Wollensky in Covent Garden. The end of the week will see a new gastropub arrive in Kentish Town in the form of The Gipsy Queen on Malden Road — it’s replacing what was previously The Bluebell and before that The Westport Inn.
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.