Gone in 60 Minutes: The Rise of the Express Lunch
Lunch at work: the time of day when you make a desperate dash to your local store and pick up food you don’t really want to eat, or you spend an extortionate amount on a takeaway only to feel like you need 400 trips to the gym to work it off. All we really want is to snack on something sumptuous as speedy as possible, to avoid the gruelling glare of a boss unhappy.
Which is why, luckily, some restaurants are catering to our munching needs with Express Lunches; the latest trend that sees high-brow restaurants rustling up an express business menu for those who hold blackberry in one hand, and juggle their life in the other.
All aboard the menu express!
Hammer & Tongs
Farringdon (London) (0.4 miles)
Hammer & Tongs have just launched a new express lunch, which takes just 15 minutes to prepare and comes with bottomless tea or coffee to get you through the afternoon slump. The menu includes honey chicken sosatie or free range spiced pork belly sosatie with the likes of honey braai carrot and couscous and feta salad as well as braaiboodjie and Cape Malay curry.
Duration: 15 minutes to prepare and then as long as you can take for lunch!
Where: 171 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3AL, UK
Website: Book Here
London Bridge (0.2 miles)
When was the last time that you had sweet potato, white onion and venison floss for lunch? Or mackerel with sprout tops and seaweed butter? Have you ever had that? We reckon probably not. Well now you can at Londrino, their express menu takes just 45 minutes so it’s perfect for a lunch break and you can choose between two or three courses and is just £25. Other dishes include steak with acorda and fried egg and quinoa, leeks and grey chanterelle.
Duration: 45 minutes (available until 22nd December)
Where: 36 Snowsfields, Southwark SE1 3SU
Don’t want to get the 4pm carb induced slump? Then head to Laurent at Hotel Café Royal who are now offering bento boxes alongside their open grill and sushi dishes. Created by the restaurant’s sushi masters the boxes can served in a speedy 45 minutes if you’re in a rush and include salmon and yellowtail nigiri, yellowtail and ahi tuna sashimi, Asian salad with ponzu dressing, crispy shrimp and spicy tuna maki and a mango-pineapple chia seed parfait. Beats going to your usual sandwich place…
Duration: 45 minutes
Where: 68 Regent Street, W1B 4DY
Green Park (0.3 miles)
Whilst Indian might not be the typical choice for a quick lunchtime bite, Indian Accent’s Manish Mehrotra has introduced his award-winning brand to our capital, jet-setting in from the oh, so wonderful Delhi. Offerings include roast lamb and roti pancakes, and a beer to boot, so you can wobble back to the office and finish off that to-d0 list.
Duration: 45 minutes
Where: Indian Accent, Albemarle Street, London, UK
Isabel’s is proof in the pudding (or lunch, if you will) that you don’t need to compromise on taste just because its a super quick process. The recent launch of their Express Lunch Menu will see suitcase swingers popping in for all of the favourites. This includes Isabel’s famed pizzette, the base of which comprises of the restaurant’s signature freshly-baked arepas, a savoury pancake-style dish made from a special cornflour, popular in South America. Feeling a bit freaky? Treat yourself to a white or red wine, or if you’ve got that TGIF feelin’, you can even punt for a cocktail. Ooo!
Duration: 60 minutes.
Where: 26 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4HY
Working professionals who spent the morning as strong, independent keyboard warriors: listen up! Modern Cantonese restaurant Duddell’s, which threw open its doors (thank goodness) in 2017, has introduced a scrumptious express lunch offering.
Dig into dim sum, sip some hot and sour soup, and if a stressful day at the office requires a bit of sweetening up, opt for the main course option which comes with vanilla baked yoghurt with kataifi and pineapple sorbet.
Duration: 60 minutes
Where: 9A St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Located in our fabulous city and also in Madrid, Street XO is an express lunch offering with an edge. StreetXO London is Chef Dabiz Munoz’s high’s octane restaurant located in Mayfair. So, if you fancy a bit of fine dining on your lunch break, Street XO is probably the perfect place to take someone for a schmooze, serving up dishes that take inspiration from European, Asian and South American cuisines, with a backbone of primarily Mediterranean or East Asian flavours. What’s more, the spot promises real express, with the service lasting approx. 30 minutes. The express lunch menu features a 4-course menu, as a brainchild from chef David Munoz.
Duration: 30 minutes
Where: 15 Old Burlington Street Mayfair W1S 2JR
Marylebone restaurant, Roganic, are fully on board the express bandwagon with their lunchtime rush offerings. Heading up the afternoon delights is chef Simon Rogan, with a fine dining menu including dry-aged Cornish lamb and mackerel with radish. Diners will enjoy a seven course tasting menu that will include asparagus, bone marrow, leek ash; 21 day dry aged cumbrian pork; smoked juniper fudge and more. So, whilst you might have to be rolled back to work, at least you’ll be well fed.
Duration: 60 minutes
Where: 5-7 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 3DB
The Rib Room Bar and Restaurant
How about this for a deal? The Rib Room Bar and Restaurant promise to deliver your two course lunch in 60 minutes or it’s lunch on the house. The Knightsbridge locale boasts a super-duper speedy à la carte menu showcasing the best of British seasonal ingredients, including braised lamb neck shepherd’s pie, smoked Applewood mash and buttered kale, and rhubarb Eton mess. So, if you’re hankering after that Sloane Square shoe sale, but need to grab a bite in between, it’s The Rib Room Bar and Restaurant for you.
Duration: 60 minutes
Where: Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge, SW1X 9PY
The English Grill
Running from 12h30 – 14h30, The English Grill provides a lunch that will have you smacking your lips for the whole duration. Choose between two or three courses including our pan fried chicken livers, daily pies and decadent rosemary panna cotta. Ideal for those that like to grab-n-go, this is yet another express lunch that proves a microwave meal just doesn’t cut the cloth.
Where: The English Grill, 39 Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster, SW1W 0PS
Elevating themselves to new foodie heights, Oblix West has launched their express lunch menu. The Elevator Lunch will allow those often rushed off their feet to travel up and down within the hour, with a menu that includes serious view goals and dishes such as steak tartare, beetroot, goat’s curd and rye crumble, or the truffle flatbread with pancetta and ricotta in keeping with tradition.
Where: The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, Southwark, SE1 9RY