After our long, cold winter and a small dalliance with some sun a couple of months ago, it seems like summer is well and truly here. Once more we can venture back out to the new venues of London to drink beer in gardens, dine alfresco and stay up with cocktails because it’s still light and warm at 9pm…although 9pm is the latest because you don’t want to miss Love Island.
New to Hotel Cafe Royal
This month saw the first European restaurant from the internationally renowned chef, Laurent Tourondel. Found on the first floor of the hotel overlooking the new lobby, (previously the Ten Room restaurant) the restaurant serves up a menu centred around the grill with dishes including: king prawn; Cornish sea bass; American Wagyu ribeye and Somerset lamb chop. Make sure you eat the American popovers, their alternative to bread.
The Handbook went down to check it out when it first opened, see what we thought of it here.
From Soho to Spitalfields
Following on from their Soho hatch, Pleasant Lady Jian Bing Trading Stall has now opened up in Old Spitalfields Market. For those not in the know, a Jian bing is a thin crispy pancake that is folded up and eaten on the street. Fillings include Iberico char siu pork; grilled miso chicken and cumin spiced lamb. If you work in the area, this is your new lunch time spot.
Inspired by an Indian Army Mess
Barbecue season is amongst us, so what better time than now for JKS Restaurant’s new venue, Indian barbecue restaurant and drinking tavern Brigadiers, where it really is all in the name. Brigadiers certainly will provide comrades with an immersive experience, inspired by the army mess bars of India. Visitors can enjoy live sports in selected rooms, card games and pool for those who wish to play while they eat and drink. To capture the atmosphere in full, the restaurant will reference Indian art deco design, creating a different vibe in each room. Dishes include madras mess mix, chaat masala pork scratchings and shellfish pakora pao. Focusing on classic methods of grilling and barbecuing meat, Brigadiers will also dedicate a section to mixed grill, on the bone cuts, steaks, ribs and chops. In true army mess style, there will be a large focus on the drinks side of things at Brigadiers, with an emphasis placed on the beer, with a monthly changing list of ten beers on tap.
Next from Boxer and Clarke
Following on from the successful restaurant at Brunswick House, Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke have now opened St Leonards in Shoreditch. Covering both ends of the spectrum, the restaurant is based around a large log-fuelled hearth which is adjacent to an ice bar. The menu is, in part, a tribute to the food that their mothers and grandmothers cooked and the food they cooked when the duo spent time in West Sussex on Pound Farm.
Beers for Everyone
Named after the church across the road, St John at Hackney Brewery wants to bring everyone together and give back to the community through beer. Check out where they brew their beer, head to the taproom to give it a taste and then try out the Greek Cypriot food from Éla Kebabs and soak up the sun in the beer garden. Take it from us, you’re going to find it hard to want to leave.
Guess which is the UK’s third most popular tourist attraction? No, not the Tower of London or the V&A, it’s… Bicester Village. Now guess where The Wolseley is opening their restaurant? Bingo, you got it. With more visitors than the National Gallery or the Tate Modern, 6.4 million tourists will now have the chance to visit Café Wolseley as London’s best-loved breakfast spot heads to the Oxfordshire high-end shopping mall.
Food that’s in Fashion: Joe’s Café Relaunches
Joe’s Café looks like the type of place one might stumble across during a trip to pick up Miranda Priestly’s steak in Runway – smom,mmoth, sleek and unapologetically cool. Now, the much-loved city staple is relaunching under the direction of new head chef Anupam Som, after first opening in 1984. Housed within fashion store JOSEPH on Sloane Square, the fashion empire began in 1972 by the late Jospeh Ettedgui, and we’re grateful to him for feeding not only our appetites, but our fashion cravings too.
Bounce Team Opens Puttshack
Calling all mini golf fans, those looking for first date activities and those who get a bit geeky over technology; next year Puttshack, the world’s first super tech indoor mini-golf experience is launching in London. Brought to you by the ping pong masterminds, Bounce, and the global phenomenon Topgolf, it’ll be opening as part of Westfield London’s £600 million expansion – they’re going for the big one: Europe’s largest shopping centre. It’ll also add to the current rejuvenation of White City which is seeing the likes of Feast, Bluebird and rumours of Soho House all moving into the area.
Banh Bao Brothers Keep it in the Family
It would appear that the people behind Vietnamese restaurant Banh Bao Brothers had some hearty, flavoursome meals as kids… and certainly didn’t hide their food in plants, under carpets or in other crevices for that matter. The new Vietnamese restaurant, Banh Bao Brothers, set to open this month, sees co-owner Chris Evernden’s belief that “the history of food is written by grandmas” re-created through flavours his business partner Raymond Ly’s grandma used. In other words, whilst our grandmas were handing out the rich tea’s and penguin biscuits, Chris and Raymond were recipients of flavours so good that they could create dishes like the Banh Boa – a steamed dish made with minced pork, Chinese sausage and a quails egg.
Food Galore at Platter Coffee Shop
Platter London believe every meal should be a celebration, and we’re so on board with this way of thinking. The bespoke company that creates the most eye-catching food platters are opening their first coffee shop in Kensington at the end of the month. There will be Allpress artisan coffees, tailor-made food platters, iced drinks and freshly baked pastries to eat in or take away. Trust us, after a stalk on insta that led to us gauging on more food than usual during our lunch break, they are worth a visit.
Rake’s Café Bar Makes for the Perfect Pit Stop
If you’ve had to make do with the train food cart’s selection of basic crisp flavours and overly strong coffee, and you’re desperate to indulge in something a little more flavourful, Rake’s have got your back. The new café bar have hit the location nail on the head, positioned right next to Liverpool Street Station, offering comfort food, coffee and cocktails, much needed after the hustle and bustle of Liverpool Street Station, alongside a cocktail menu of classic concoctions. In historical context, a Rake was someone who habitually wasted his fortune on wine, amongst other things, and we can’t say we blame him with the list of wine on offer at Rake’s.
Now There’s Another Posh Indian Coming To Central London!
It seems that the onward march of posh Indians is showing no sign of slowing as we welcome Little Kolkata to Covent Garden. And thank goodness, the past year has seen the Cinnamon, Dishoom and Kricket empires expanding as well as top-end newcomers like Indian Accent and Jamavar laying claim to this growing market, which is great for diners. But also leaves Little Kolkata with plenty to prove as it graduates from sell-out supper club to permanent restaurant next month. And by all accounts, it will live up to all the hype. Founded by Prabir Chattopadhyay and Biswajit Deb Das, the restaurant focusses on authentic Bengali cuisine, drawing on Chattopadhyay’s childhood in Calcutta and Deb Das’s Bangladeshi roots to produce a taste of home using their favourite spices and ingredients to create something that is both contemporary yet traditional. The pair built a very successful supper club that consistently sold out and realised that there was clearly a wide market for their food and style. Hence Little Kolkata, an alternative name for former Indian capital Calcutta.
Brother Marcus Opens 2nd Site
Younger siblings, they always seem to come along and upstage their big brothers and it’s no different when it comes to restaurants. Brother Marcus, is actually getting a brother next month and this new site in Angel is set to be bigger and better than the original Balham site. Alongside their award-winning brunch, they’ll be serving up a brand-new evening menu of Mediterranean small and sharing plates, inspired by co-founder Tasos’ Cretan upbringing. Split into four sections, earth, land, sea and snacks with an emphasis on vegetarian and vegan dishes, you’ll find the likes of fried feta with honey and sesame; homemade crisps with oregano and lemon zest salt; pork belly with a Metaxa and date glaze with apple labneh and walnuts and for pudding honey bombs with cinnamon syrup and sesame and sticky toffee and Mexata pudding with dates and cream.
Hans’ Bar & Grill Opens in Chelsea
Hans Sloane, the man who was credited for bringing cocoa and hot chocolate to the UK will be lending his name to the new restaurant opening on the Pavilion Road, from the team behind Chewton Glen, Lygon Arms, Cliveden House and 11 Cadogan Gardens. A few minutes from both Sloane Square and Hans Place Garden (they really did like using his name, the restaurant will be serving up an all-day seasonal menu making the most of British produce and heading up the kitchen will be Adam England (Le Pont de la Tour). Start the day with the likes of eggs benedict, steak tartare and fresh-pressed juices before moving on to dishes such as duck breast, confit salmon, goats curd and cucumber and Adam’s take on the classic veal carpaccio. Finish with their signature hot chocolate or chocolate pudding, a nod to Hans of course.
Two’s Company as Jones & Sons Open Second Restaurant
The last day of the week is for Spotify’s sweet soul Sunday playlist and a good old roast, otherwise is it really Sunday? Luckily, for those amongst us who lounge out with a blanket all day before sauntering to our prime Sunday lunch location, you’ll be pleased to hear that Jones & Sons have mastered the Yorkshire pud and all the trimmings dish to a T, and have now opened a second restaurant to boot. Five nail-biting years have gone by with the Jones & Sons lovers amongst us lying in wait for owner Andy Jones to open a second restaurant. Low and behold, he must have heard our bottomless brunch induced cries and excitement is rife for the introduction of a second restaurant to open in Angel next month. Whilst on the subject of bottomless brunch, you’ll be able to enjoy it at the latest venture, bloody Mary in hand for those of you who dabble in a bit of hair of the dog.
New Bistro to Launch at Henrietta Hotel
Never mind had me at hello, The Henrietta Hotel had me at 1am late-license because, correct me if I’m wrong, but when cocktails are on the cards, the later the venue closure, the absolute better. The boutique Covent Garden townhouse will open a new bistro next month named Henrietta Bistro, and with newness being the theme, a brand-new chef will also be on hand to rustle up the dishes. Head chef Sylvain Roucayrol joins from sister site Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, replacing Ollie Dabbous. Meanwhile, Dabbous is doing what chefs at the top of their culinary game do best and has opened up his own restaurant, Hide in Piccadilly.
Ottolenghi is Opening a New Restaurant: ROVI
The man who inspires most of London’s dinner party menus, Ottolenghi is set to open a new restaurant with his team this summer. And since Brangelina, Bennifer and Hiddleswift are all no more, we’re going to bring you a new one, ROVI. No, we haven’t gone off on a tangent, it’s the name of the restaurant, it’s a little bit of NOPI, a little bit of Fitzrovia but it’s doing its own thing with vegetables and sustainability taking centre stage. There’ll be a new focus on fermentation, cooking over fire and making the most of leftovers to create new dishes. You’ll find leftover wine is turned into vinegars and coffee grinds being used to cook dishes such as Hasselback beetroots. Even the air won’t go to waste as the heat generated in the kitchen will be used to warm up the restaurant and the water used on site.
Cora Pearl: Covent Garden’s Restaurant Based on a Courtesan
If you were in Paris in the nineteenth century and mixed in certain circles, then chances are you would be familiar with Cora Pearl, the London-born party queen of Paris but she wasn’t an heiress, far from it, she was a courtesan, a regular working girl in a glamorous world. If you’re in Covent Garden this summer then you’ll also be familiar with Cora Pearl as the team behind Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair launch their second restaurant, based on the courtesan. Opening on Henrietta Street the restaurant will reflect the drama and excitement of her glamourous life and the will be inspired by the dishes that her private chef (who was one of the best in Paris) cooked up. Heading up the kitchen will be George Barson, who has been head chef at Kitty Fisher’s for the past 15 months and will now oversee both kitchens. Bringing together British and French influences, dishes will include the likes of: leek heart with smoked eel; fish stew; confit pork belly with smoked quince and for pudding, coffee, cardamom and milk sorbet.