Welcome to our weekly digest of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: Farewells, expansions and Hoes
Eco-friendly, super-seasonal tapas restaurant Poco will open just off Broadway Market early next month, following in the footsteps of the original branch in Bristol. The man with the plan is chef Tom Hunt who wrote the well-known book The Natural Cook: Eating the Seasons and previously worked with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at River Cottage. He has appointed Henry Russel, formerly of Exmouth Market’s Morito, as head chef and will serve a seasonally-changing menu of tapas dishes inspired by Spain, Morocco and Latin America. They will be made from organic, seasonal produce that has been sourced from as locally as possible – including Hackney leaves, Bermondsey cheese and Lea Valley veg.
Two more Foxlow restaurants are set to open later this year, in Balham and Chiswick. They will replace Harrison’s and Sam’s Brasserie respectively, both of which the Foxlow team – who also behind Hawksmoor – are buying from current proprietor Sam Harrison. The openings follow the launch of a second site in Stoke Newington earlier this year and suggest that more neighbourhood locations could be on the cards.
A very big house for Ho
The first London restaurant from Vietnamese chef Bobby Chinn – House of Ho on Old Compton Street – has presumably been doing pretty well. The team has announced plans to open a new, flagship restaurant down the road in a huge five-storey site in Fitzrovia while also making plans to roll the concept out further. Exact details are under wraps, but we do know that the new flagship will be called House of Ho and be geared towards showing off Chinn’s creative cooking, while the Soho site will be renamed Ho in line with future sites. The new House of Ho replaces what was formerly Bam-Bou on Percy Street.
Chef Florence Knight – who is now a regular face at foodie events as well as a recipe columnist for the Sunday Times – has left her role as head chef at Polpetto. As a result the Soho restaurant, sister to Polpo, is closed until Monday when it will relaunch in a form closer to the other Polpo restaurants. It is as yet unknown where Florence will be cooking next, but wherever it is, it will undoubtedly be one to watch.
This week has seen the opening of burger and spit-roast chicken restaurant Bonfire in the Barbican and Nordic smokehouse Rök on Curtain Road – which is still on soft-launch until Saturday. Today marks the arrival of Scandinavian accented all-day coffee, sandwich and juice shop Lundenwic at Aldwych, and another branch of ramen joint Tonkotsu at Bankside – both are on soft-launch for the rest of the week.
On Saturday Duncan Beiny, better known as DJ Yoda, will open Austen’s Smokehouse in Kensal Rise, promising brisket, ribs and and pulled pork along with weekend “Louisiana-style” brunches and DJ sets – including surprise appearances from DJ Yoda himself.
On Monday the latest branch of tapas chain Iberica – the fourth in London – will launch in Victoria.
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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