TASTE Newsletter October 2016 edition - the 'need to know' about new food and drink in Britain
TREND: Little chefs
The Connaught and its Michelin-starred chef Hélène Darroze have launched Le Petit Chef, a cooking masterclass for budding chefs staying at the hotel with their parents. Until spring 2017, young guests will be granted access to the restaurant's kitchens to learn how to make a fruity crumble dessert, using their own personalised apron, hat and wooden spoon.
Hunter 486's Head Chef Gary Durrant is a father of two and has devised the perfect children's menu at The Arch London's restaurant. Children's sized cutlery is provided and colouring books are on hand to keep the little ones entertained. www.thearchlondon.com
TREND: Street food with a side order of culture
Fancy some Portuguese tapas marinated in live music, with a side of vintage shopping? Then head down to Flat Iron Square, opening this month in Bankside, London. A blend of music, food, drink, entertainment and culture come together across seven railway arches and a historic building. Open all day - for early breakfast until late drinks - it caters for the increasing demand for flexibility of enjoying good food in an entertaining, cultural environment. With more than a dozen eateries offering artisan food from around the globe, highlights include Where the pancakes are... plus Portuguese tapas and wine bar Douro and fresh and innovative Savage Salads. The live music venue, OMEARA, by Ben Lovett of the band Mumford & Sons, will host a range of club nights, talks, comedy, burlesque, magic and more. And every Sunday from 10am-5pm, there's Flea - a European-inspired vintage market. The creators of the space plan for it to keep evolving for visitors to keep discovering... so watch this square! www.flatironsquare.co.uk
Media company Time Out is also looking to open a food market in Shoreditch, east London, next year. The site is expected to have 17 restaurants, four bars, a Cooking Academy, a shop and an art gallery. The concept first opened in Lisbon in 2014 and has future plans to launch sites in New York and Miami. www.timeout.com/london
TREND: Celebrating goat meat
This month saw the inaugural launch of Goatober - Britain's first annual event encouraging us to all eat more goat meat. Goatober originally started in 2010 in New York and has got bigger each year. Britain's month-long celebration is led by Cabrito, headed up by former River Cottage chef James Whetlor. When he found out that billy goats who don't produce milk for dairy products are euthanised at birth, James wanted to improve the situation. After buying billy goats from the farmers, he raises them and then sells the meat to acclaimed restaurants such as HIX, St John, Duck and Waffle, Morito and River Cottage. After a successful 2016 launch, the event will return bigger and better next year. www.cabrito.co.uk/goatober
TREND: A Latino love affair
The British foodie scene's love of Latino cuisine continues apace, with Peruvian taking centre stage. In London, Butifarra brings Peruvian street food to Soho, while Chicama is a modern eatery from the team behind Pachamama restaurant, while renowned Michelin-starred Lima has re-opened after a major refurb, with a revamped menu enriched with new elements and techniques from the team's discovery travels in the Amazon rainforest. www.chicamaonline.com, www.limalondongroup.com
It's not just Peruvian though - Corazón, a new authentic Mexican-style ‘taqueria' taco restaurant - is due to open in Soho this November, with taco fillings including confit of duck in root beer and 12-hour slow roast lamb, alongside ceviches, tostadas and salads. In Bristol, summery new opening Bambalan has a huge terrace overlooking the centre and serves up fragrant Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Its emphasis is on healthy but tasty salads, mezzes and signature Babs (rotisserie meats served in a flatbread), as well as a kids' menu. www.bambalan.co.uk
TREND: Meat feast
London venue McQueen is opening a new steak restaurant, The Grill, in Shoreditch this month - with a menu specially created by former Hawksmoor Head Chef Richard Sandiford. All ingredients are locally sourced - the bread comes from just around the corner at The Dusty Knuckle Bakery in Hackney. www.thegrillmcqueen.com
New kid on the block this November Bar + Block, located in London's King's Cross, will offer high-quality steaks at high-street prices. It's all about the beef: using British breed cattle grazed on the stunning planes of the Pampas in South America, these 28-day aged steaks are the real deal. Lighter dishes are also available. www.barandblock.co.uk
Pitt Cue put pulled pork on the map when it opened in 2012 and now its Soho baby, Little Pit, offers a daily-changing menu focussed on meat, meat and more meat. Meanwhile, street food barbecue specialists Smokestak are opening up their first permanent site off Brick Lane, and ethically-focussed US burger chain BurgerFi are bringing the CEO Burger to London diners: a double Wagyu Beef and
Brisket blend patty. Also joining the meat club is Sagardi, a new Basque restaurant in Shoreditch, complete with an on-site butcher. www.littlepitt.com, www.burgerfi.com, www.smokestak.co.uk, www.sagardi.com
TREND: Clean eating
Hotel Café Royal's Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre in London has launched a new Four Elements menu created with nutritional therapist, Zoë Stirling and served in the spa's peaceful lounge. Fire Menu includes ginger, rocket and watercress salad; Earth showcases root vegetables with turmeric hummus and quinoa; Water features raw Thai-style salad with seaweed, shiitake broth with poached salmon and watermelon granite; and Air features nectarines, citrus dressing, and coconut frozen yoghurt. www.hotelcaferoyal.com
Coeliacs rejoice! London's first entirely gluten-free, fine dining restaurant M Raw is open. Already shortlisted by Restaurant Magazine for ‘Best New Opening 2016′, it is also one of the first and few restaurants in London to serve Cobia - a fish compared to its carnivorous counterpart, Wagyu Beef. www.mrestaurants.co.uk/victoria/m-raw
New healthy South Kensington eatery Squirrel has a refillable drinking ‘well' serving matcha lattes, turmeric lattes, all press coffees and spicy reishi hot chocolate. www.wearesquirrel.com
London gained seven new one Michelin star restaurants in the 2017 Michelin Guide unveiled earlier this month, including Jun Tanaka's The Ninth and Adam Byatt's Trinity.
David Muñoz, who holds three Michelin stars at his restaurant Diver XO in Madrid, is due to open his London restaurant Street XO in Mayfair in November. He plans to evoke the atmosphere of a street food market, with an open theatre kitchen, chefs serving food alongside waiters, and surprising dishes like Crunchy Pig's Ear and Kimchi Croquetas.
Kiln is one of Soho's hottest new eateries - literally - with open fires in the middle of the room! Thai grill and seafood is prepared in clay pots over an open fire, based on Thai street market food, combining Burmese and Yunnanese spicing and flavours. www.kilnsoho.com
This month Hawiian restaurant Island Poké opens in Soho, bringing a breakfast-to-dinner menu to the table - think acai breakfast bowls, Kona coffee and Hawaiian-style sashimi salad. Aloha!
Just-opened Manitoba Tigella has brought tigella - the traditional Italian disc-shaped stuffed bread - from Northern Italy to New Oxford Street. A range of tigellas will be served with different accompaniments including prosciutto and sundried tomatoes - as well as other dishes like pasta, meat, fish, salads and soups. Guests will be able to see the chefs prepare the tigella at the restaurant's ‘cooking theatre'. www.manitobatigella.com
Next month, former group exectuive chef at Michelin-starred sites Gymkhana and Trishna will open new fine-dining Indian restaurant, Jamavar, in Mayfair, London. It will be the company's first international outpost outside India and the team has spent six weeks travelling around India researching the new menu. Check out their ideas on Instagram @JamavarLondon. The same team launched Motu Indian Kitchen earlier this month, a delivery service serving indulgent home style Indian food paying homage to the "dabbawalas" of India who would traditionally deliver a packed meal for workers across Indian cities in what became known as a tiffin. Motu will initially serve the area around south west London including Fulham, Clapham, Chelsea, Wandsworth, Putney and Battersea, via Deliveroo. www.motuindiankitchen.com
Roma, a new Roman-themed restaurant, opened in east London in September. Its opulent design is inspired by ancient Rome and chefs use traditional Roman techniques, including cooking meat with hay. Some of the wines are from Southern European vineyards traced back to Roman times. www.roma.london
New Greek restaurant Kalimera in Camden is making organic olive oil the star of the show. Using organic olive oil made on the owner family's farm in Sparta in South Greece, diners can also buy the olive oil to take home. www.kalimera.london
New Caravan Bankside, located a stone's throw from the Tate Modern extension on the ground floor of the old Metal Box Factory, offers a globally-inspired menu of pizzas, daily bakes, house-made cheeses like whey ricotta, cured meats such as coffee-cured duck ham, and specialty coffee courtesy of Caravan Coffee Roasters. International flavours shine through all dishes, such as baked eggs with tomato pepper ragout for weekend brunch, hot chilli crab claw, coriander & pickled lime on the all-day menu, and its classic ‘Caravan espresso caramel affogato' for dessert. www.caravanrestaurants.co.uk/bankside.html
The Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Prêt-à-Portea, its legendary fashion afternoon tea, with the publication of new book Prêt-à-Portea, High-Fashion Bakes & Biscuits. The book showcases a collection of more than 20 secret recipes featuring key fashion styles from world leading designers such as Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Jimmy Choo, plus baking techniques from the hotel's Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat. Khiat will also be sharing secrets behind fashion's favourite afternoon tea with a series of two-hour masterclasses available from 2 November until Spring 2017, for guests to learn how to make three favourite recipes from the past ten years. Prêt-à-Portea is served in the Collins Room at The Berkeley every day from 1:30pm - 5:30pm. www.the-berkeley.co.uk
Talking of new sweet things, Dominique Ansel bakery has opened in Victoria - best known for popularising the Cronut, a croissant and doughnut hybrid, which took New York by storm and has since become a global phenomenon. The new London outpost will feature unique creations using British produce and ingredients.
In September two former Michelin star pastry chefs opened Over Easy, a new all-day brunch restaurant in Marylebone. The pair have travelled the world researching the menus, including delicious Crispy Avocado Toastadas, Truffled Pain Perdu and Dutch Baby Pancakes. www.overeasylondon.com
It's all change at the revamped London's St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which has welcomed a new Executive Chef, Adam Ashe, working across the hotel's food and beverage outlets, including Hansom Lounge, meat and cheese café MI + ME and the main bar and restaurant, the Booking Office. MI + ME will also be running weekly free masterclasses, with different topics each month - from ‘cured meat and craft beer pairing' to fashion illustration. www.stpancraslondon.com
On the foodie horizon...
This winter, renowned New York Nordic restaurant Aquavit will open in London, showcasing modern Nordic cuisine and overseen by Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef of the two Michelin-starred Aquavit New York - only the second female chef in the US to win two Michelin stars. www.aquavitrestaurants.com
London's only naked restaurant, The Bunyadi, could be set to return to the capital permanently following a sell-out run at its pop-up concept earlier this year, which offered guests ‘true liberation' by letting them dine in the nude. www.thebunyadi.com
Australian hospitality group Seagrass is planning to launch three restaurant brands in Britain over the next two years. The first is its high quality Ribs & Burgers chain - including a pure Wagyu burger - in south-west London, then it aims to bring its Italian Street Kitchen concept in 2017, followed by skewered meat and craft beer brand Hunter & Barrel in 2018. The group has 28 sites in Australia across five brands. www.ribsandburgers.com
Harrods is planning to transform its basement space from a fine wine department into a 225-cover late-night restaurant, bar and lounge area. The store's nine existing restaurants and cafes close by 9pm but the restaurant will stay open until midnight Monday to Friday and 11.30pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays. www.harrods.com
Famous chef Rick Stein is set to make his London debut in Barnes next year, overlooking the Thames. www.rickstein.com
London's much-loved Dishoom restaurant open in Edinburgh this winter - its first location outside the capital. Dishoom pays homage to the Irani cafés of Bombay, and Edinburgh diners will be able to enjoy Executive Chef Naved Nasir's legendary breakfast, followed by an all-day sharing menu of Bombay comfort food, including small plates, grills, biryanis, salad plates, rolls and curries. www.dishoom.com/edinburgh
G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh is getting a new Epicurean bar this month, serving colourful cocktails made using home-grown flowers and herbs from the hotel's Evogro hydroponic indoor plant growing system. The bar will also serve a selection of Scottish spirits and malts, artisanal Mediterranean spirits, craft beers and wines from select small producer vineyards. It will offer an all-day dining menu with Mediterranean snacks and list of mocktail drinks. www.quorvuscollection.com/gandv-hotel-edinburgh/bar
The Scottish Highlands got a new food festival this September in the form of Taste the Wild, West Highland Food Festival. Part of Scottish Food & Drink fortnight (3-18 September), the festival celebrates a foraged selection of the finest local food and drink. Visitors can discover the region's artisan producers and feast on wild larder straight from the surrounding hills and sea, while dancing the night away at the Scran & Dram Ceilidh! Watch this space for information on next year's event. www.westhighlandfoodfestival.com
Homeless people in Edinburgh have been treated to a fine dining meal at a chic new restaurant Maison Bleue for the first time. Guests had a choice of venison haunch casserole with cheesy mash or a wild mushroom penne pasta dish, followed by apple and red berry crumble with vanilla ice cream. The restaurant's promise is to feed members of the homeless community once a week, while also contributing its profits to charity. The initiative is made possible by "pay it forward" contributions from diners. www.maisonbleuerestaurant.com
Edinburgh's vibrant Indian street food restaurant, Tuk Tuk, is bringing its authentic fare to a second site in Glasgow this November, serving up Tiffin set lunch boxes, inspired by the fresh, rustic food served at the roadside and railway stations across India to travellers, school children, rickshaw-wallahs and busy office workers. www.tuktukonline.com
Glasgow's newest Spanish restaurant, Ibérica, focuses on food from the Asturias region - hand-carved hams, rare cheeses and beer, wine, sherry and cider. Its executive head chef has two Michelin stars and there is delicatessen on site selling olive oils, hams, cured meats, preserved fish and vegetables. Olé! www.ibericarestaurants.com/restaurants/iberica-glasgow
Cardiff's Summerhouse Café in Bute Park is offering up dog-friendly ice cream... and it's going down a treat! The lactose-free frozen yoghurt, Frozzy, is made especially for dogs and comes in four flavours - strawberry, cranberry, blueberry and original.
Cardiff is also getting its first Australian themed restaurant this month, The Outback. Diners will find kangaroo steaks, ostrich meat, venison, wild boar and crocodile burgers on the menu, as well as fresh fish and Aussie-style BBQ sauce. Owner Ciprian Craciunescu's travels have inspired his menu, which is a mix of Australian contemporary cuisine and native bushfood, plus hints of British and Italian flavours.
The Whitebrook has retained its Michelin star for the third successive year in the 2017 Michelin Guide. www.thewhitebook.co.uk
In September, Hilton Cardiff launched its new restaurant, Grey, overlooking the city's castle. Its menu champions local Welsh produce, including honey glazed welsh lamb shank bubble ‘n' squeak, alongside Welsh craft beers and spirits from the Cardiff Gin Company.
Combining local products and cooking demonstrations with live music and family events, Portmeirion Food & Craft Fair will be a celebration of all things Welsh this December. Watch top chefs cooking live and learn something new from an itinerary of creative classes. Little foodies can learn how to cook before jumping on the Woodland Express to find Santa in his Grotto. www.portmeirion-village.com
Liverpool, Manchester & Leeds
New opening Castle Street Townhouse transforms itself from a breakfast and brunch restaurant to a chic bar in the evening. From 11am, brunch dishes include shin of beef with kale and carrot celeriac. It's also the first venue in Liverpool to serve a breakfast ‘afternoon tea' - the Towerhouse Tier. www.castlestreettownhouse.co.uk
Kaspa opened this month and is already living up to its ‘king of desserts' slogan. The menu is strictly desserts and gelato, including sundaes, sorbet, waffles and crepes, cakes, hot drinks, milkshakes and smoothies. There are also protein shakes and gluten free options available. www.kaspas.co.uk
Spanish tapas restaurant El Gato Negro has won a Michelin Bib Gourmand and is on the hunt for more sites. It will also start to serve food in its top floor cocktail bar, The Black Cat, to add more dining space. Chef patron Simon Shaw also wants to bring a new brand to Manchester, Pico Pico, blending small dishes with Spanish, North African and Middle Eastern influences. www.elgatonegrotapas.com
This month Michelin chef Michael O'Hare has opened The Rabbit in the Moon - a new ‘space-age Asian' restaurant at Manchester's National Football Museum. The restaurant is named after an Asian fable and will serve an evening tasting menu.
Italian TV chef Gino D'Acampo is opening a new restaurant in Leeds, which will be the third outpost of his premium My Restaurant brand, serving real Italian food and featuring an eat-at deli bar.
Forest Side in Grasmere has been awarded its first Michelin star in the 2017 guide, and named as Tatler Restaurant Awards' ‘Best Kept Secret' 2016. It's quickly become a Lake District pilgrimage for foodies, with its huge kitchen garden featuring 140 raised beds, 46 acres of grounds for foraging, and tasting menus inspired by the surrounding Cumbrian landscape. www.theforestside.com
South East England
Five-star Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey has relaunched its Brasserie restaurant as an interactive dining experience with three cooking stations offering a changing menu throughout the day. It is designed to act as a more informal alternative to the hotel's acclaimed fine dining restaurant, The Latymer. www.exclusive.co.uk/pennyhill-park
Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck has regained its top three-star rating in the 2017 Michelin Stars Guide after the restaurant temporarily moved to Melbourne for nine months in 2015. www.thefatduck.co.uk
New opening Appleton's at the Vineyard near Padstow is run by Andy Appleton, former head chef of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall, and his wife Lyndsey. It's based in the heart of Trevibbanmill Vineyard, which provides a stunning backdrop as well as the wine list. Expect dishes like squid ink spaghetti with Padstow crab. www.trevibbanmill.com/appletons-at-the-vineyard
A unique liquid nitrogen ice cream stall, Brozen, has opened at Bristol's St Nick's Market. The brainchild of two brothers, this special ice cream is free from any preservatives and created in front of your eyes. Customers stay behind glass as an operative wearing safety specs uses liquid nitrogen and an electric whisk to make the ice cream. Flavours on offer include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, and a carrot cake special - as well as strawberry and plum sorbets. @BrozenIceCream
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