From Britain's first zero-waste vegetarian restaurant to the famous Cronut's upcoming arrival in London, the last three months have seen a whirlwind of new openings and exciting foodie news right across the country... and it's all summed up here in TASTE. If you don't know what a Cronut is, you're about to find out...
TREND: Sustainable eating and zero food waste
Chef, writer and food activist Justin Horne has opened London's first zero-waste restaurant in Notting Hill. All of the organic, vegetarian food served at Tiny Leaf has been donated from local suppliers and establishments. The menu changes daily depending on what surplus is available - expect dishes like hemp pesto courgetti and rhubarb, ginger and carrot crumble. Can't finish your meal? Don't worry - you can take home your leftovers in a ‘bio-box'. The space itself isn't so tiny, spanning four floors and including a juice bar, a cinema screening food-conscious films, and a botanical cocktail bar. The signature ‘Tiny Leaf' cocktail is even served in a plant pot with edible soil! www.tinyleaflondon.com
At communal dining restaurant Forza Win in Peckham, south-east London, food is ordered according to the number of tickets sold, so waste is minimal. Serving delicious Italian food cooked over wood fires, the menu stays the same for an entire season and only changes depending on what's available from the farms. On Wednesdays you can get a bowl of pasta and glass of wine for £10, then from Thursday to Saturday it's a traditional Italian sharing meal. The current Spring menu is available until 26 March; watch this space for next season's offering. www.forzawin.com
Native in Covent Garden opens this week, providing its diners with the countryside's best seasonal wild food, native to Britain - from game to foraged vegetables. Dishes include the likes of pigeon kebab and raw Sussex venison with treacle-cured pheasant egg. www.eatnative.co.uk
Taking its name and ethos from the small roadside stalls in America selling surplus seasonal home-grown produce from local farms, all the ingredients at new eatery Farmstand, also in Covent Garden, have been sustainably and ethically sourced for their nutritional content and flavour. Everything is wheat, gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free (apart from the desserts, made with unrefined coconut sugar). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available as "Ready To Go" boxes throughout the day, with lots of different combinations on offer.
Indigo restaurant at luxury hotel One Aldwych is gluten and dairy-free... but you'd never guess! Chef Dominic Teague quietly cut both gluten and dairy completely from lunch and dinner menus, yet diners haven't noticed the difference. Using alternatives like almond milk, coconut oil and buckwheat flour, he's maintained creamy, buttery flavours and light textures in dishes including quinoa salad, beer-battered fish and chocolate mousse maintain. Stealthily healthy! www.onealdwych.com/food-drink/indigo
Get your green juice fix at new flagship deli The Detox Kitchen in Fitzroy Place, which features a salad and juice bar - and even a fitness studio! You can grab and go or eat in from the sharing menu. All dishes are wheat, dairy and refined sugar free, from breakfast through to early supper - including griddled sweet potato with red onion, soya yoghurt and honey pecans. If you fancy working up an appetite, head to the fitness studio downstairs first, for yoga or a HIIT class, run by some of the top health professionals in London. www.detoxkitchen.co.uk
In his first project outside of his home country, famed Spanish chef Albert Adrià comes to London for the first time ever with his residency at Café Royal, starting this month, to celebrate the luxury hotel's 150thyear. Named by TIME Magazine as one of the most influential chefs in gastronomy, Albert made his name with brother Ferran Adriá at their Michelin three-star restaurant, El Bulli, in Catalonia - one of the most famous and experimental restaurants in the world. From February 12 to April 9, "50 Days by Albert Adrià" promises to bring an entirely new dining experience to London, taking diners on a crafted culinary journey. Delicioso! www.hotelcaferoyal.com/50-days-by-albert-adria
Continuing on the Spanish theme, a new Basque restaurant and bar is due to open at One Aldwych hotel this summer. Eneko at One Aldwych will feature inventive interpretation of traditional Basque cuisine by three Michelin-star Chef Eneko Atxa. His restaurant in Bilbao, Azurmendi, is ranked number 19 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants. www.onealdwych.com/food-drink/eneko
Family-owned business Oliver Maki has five branches of its contemporary fusion sushi restaurant abroad and has taken the Middle East by storm. Top sushi chef Louis Kenji Huang takes the helm at their first British venture in Soho. www.olivermaki.co.uk
Dominique Ansel's Cronuts - a croissant and doughnut hybrid filled with cream and topped with glaze - had the food world raving when they were invented in 2013. And now the exciting pastry chef is bringing his baking skills to London! Date and location are not yet confirmed - watch this space. www.dominiqueansel.com
After a decade under the tutelage of the likes of Michel Roux Jnr and Marco Pierre White, Jun Tanaka has opened his long-awaited debut restaurant The Ninth, located in the heart of Fitzrovia. His à la carte menu has eight sections - snacks, hot starters, salads, raw & cured, meat, fish, vegetables and desserts. The French-Mediterranean dishes showcase the best seasonal produce. Vegetables taking a star billing, and hot starters such as the rabbit confit lasagne with mustard béchamel are perfect for sharing. www.theninthlondon.com
Gregory Marchand‘s acclaimed Parisian favourite, Frenchie, is opening its first site outside of Paris in Covent Garden, serving up an ever-changing menu using British sourced ingredients and trademark techniques, such as house-smoked meat and fish. Greg gained the nickname Frenchie during his time cooking at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen - and it stuck! www.frenchiecoventgarden.com
New Japanese Yakitori restaurant Jidori brings authentic street food from the streets of Tokyo to Dalston, east London, serving delicious skewers and small plates alongside Japanese cocktails, craft beers and sakes. To keep things as authentic as possible it's working closely with Japanese agricultural specialists Nama Yasai, who will supply all the vegetables and use a Kama-Asa shoten grill at the centre of the open kitchen. The restaurant will even be sourcing sustainable charcoal from the London Log Company to get it as close to traditional Binchotan coal as possible. www.jidori.co.uk
On a more tropical note, a new Cottons Caribbean Restaurant and Rhum Shack is due to open in Notting Hill in April 2016, serving authentic Caribbean cuisine and even lively steel drum evenings! The bar will stock the largest rum collection in Britain, with more than 300 varieties available.www.cottons-restaurant.co.uk
With city wide celebrations for London Fashion Week fast approaching, Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill has teamed up with fashion legend, Antony Price, who has designed three couture dresses to display exclusively at The Montagu restaurant from 1 February to 31 March 2016, alongside the launch of the stylish new ‘Haute-Tea'! www.london.churchill.hyatt.com/en/hotel/activities/hotel-activities/sexandthecitypar-tea.html
Café Royal has opened a new bar dedicated entirely to gin, Green Bar Botanicals & Tonics, taking inspiration from the Café Royal Cocktail Book compiled in 1937. The ‘Gin Journey' menu sees unique takes on the classic gin and tonic created by expert mixologists, using a wide range of local and global gins. An accompanying menu of small plates and light lunches includes Parma ham croquettes with aioli and Cornish lobster club sandwiches. www.hotelcaferoyal.com/restaurants-and-bars/green-bar
Savile Row's Sartoria re-opened its doors in December 2015 with renowned Italian chef Francesco Mazzei at the helm as chef patron. The refurbishment includes the addition of a new bar and cicchetti (‘small plates') counter, two private dining rooms and a wine cellar boasting 250 bins where head sommelier Michael Simms will host private wine tasting events. Francesco has created an all-day dining menu including breakfast that will feature dishes from his native Calabria and other regions in Italy. www.sartoria-restaurant.co.uk
Bourne & Hollingsworth are opening a new cookery school, B & H Kitchen, kitted out with the latest technology and run by Executive Chef Adam Gray and Head Chef Anthony Horn. The thrice weekly classes will be insightful, entertaining and suitable for all levels, covering everything from knife skills, bread and seasonal vegetables to butchery, game and sausage making. Each class will be for 12 participants. Opens at the end of February. www.bourneandhollingsworth.com
World-renowned father-and-son chefs Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jnr are opening two new restaurants in Scotland - marking the first time the duo have collaborated in the destination. The pair will open the first of their jointly branded fine dining restaurants at Inverlochy Castle, a country house hotel near Fort William in the Highlands, later this month. The second establishment is to be launched at Crossbasket Castle in High Blantyre, south Lanarkshire, a 14th-century building that was rescued from ruin and is set to open as a luxury venue at the start of May. The restaurants - seating 50 and 25 people respectively - will be run by chefs trained in Roux kitchens. Michel's daughter Emily will focus on menu development, which will be in the style of Le Gavroche but with a contemporary and distinctly Scottish twist.
Romantically nestled on the edge of Loch Goil, luxury hotel The Lodge has a new fine dining restaurant. Leiper showcases the best of modern Scottish cuisine and reflects the outstanding variety of the west of Scotland's natural larder from land and sea. Head chef Daniel Hollerin's ethos is all about using wild seasonal food combined, so virtually all ingredients come from no further than one hour radius from the restaurant, including herbs and vegetables grown its very own Victorian greenhouse. Leiper's menu is also available in The Lodge's private dining areas, including its famous treehouse overlooking Loch Goil. www.thelodge-scotland.com
Two new restaurants at Celtic Manor
2013 Masterchef finalist Larkin Cen has just opened his first restaurant - CEN - in Usk Valley, Newport, south Wales, at country hotel and golf resort, Celtic Manor. Fine dining is the order of the day on his inspired Asian fusion menu (www.celtic-manor.com/cen). And, from 13 February, Celtic Manor has another new restaurant, with the opening of acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Richard Davies' new fine dining eatery, Epicure. The definition of an epicure is "a person with refined taste who takes particular pleasure in fine food and drink". Davies left Wales in the late1990s, before going on to climb the culinary ladder in celebrated restaurants, including three years at the triple Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay in London. www.celtic-manor.com/epicure
If delicious dishes that look like works of art are your thing, then head to Wales' capital Cardiff, where The Pickled Radish is set to open on St David's Day (1 March). Bacon lovers will rejoice - every breakfast dish contains bacon! Except one designed for the non-meat eaters. www.thepickledradish.com/eat-llandaff.html
With Northern Ireland's Year of Food and Drink now under way, there are two exciting new restaurants for visitors to enjoy. US-owned burger chain Five Guys has opened its first Northern Ireland restaurant in Belfast's Victoria Square. Five Guys is known for its fresh, made-to-order burgers that come with a vast choice of toppings, customisable at no extra charge. Also at Victoria Square, Northern Ireland is set to get its first taste of Hawaiian cuisine with a new grill bar - Kua 'Aina - specialising in burgers and other traditional food.
At the beginning of February, New-England-style ‘beach club' The Club House opened in Liverpool's city centre, complete with three floors and 600 seats. Great for laid-back beachy atmosphere and cocktails. www.theclubhouse.uk.com
Liverpool is also getting a new cheese lover's paradise! Cheese &Co on Castle Street - part-deli, part-market stall, part-café - is due to open imminently, offering specialist cheese, meats and deli-style treats, with a menu running from breakfast until late. The owners' aim is to make it to feel like walking into a market.
Manchester eagerly awaits the opening of new tapas restaurant El Gato Negro on 22 February in a historic building on King Street. Set across three floors, the ground level will house a casual drinking and dining space with a bar and charcuterie counter serving a range of Spanish cheese and cured meats. Upstairs is the main restaurant, with an open kitchen and a charcoal oven, creating dishes such as a rack of baby pork ribs with Pedro Ximénez glaze. Then, on the top floor will be The Black Cat cocktail bar, complete with a retractable roof, serving Spanish-inspired twists on classic cocktails. Olé! www.elgatonegrotapas.com
The owner of one of Newcastle's top dining destinations, Blackfriars Restaurant, is captaining a new venture - Hinnies - on the spectacular Whitley Bay seafront, 25 minutes from Newcastle city centre. Hinnies will offer rustic and hearty comfort food using local and seasonal produce to give diners a real taste of the North East. Dishes include coast creamy crab soup and slow-roasted belly pork. www.facebook.com/Hinniesfamilyrestaurant
Michelin-starred chef Adam Stokes has unveiled his new self-titled fine dining destination, Adam's Restaurant, in Birmingham's Waterloo Street. Totally bespoke, Adam is confident his highly technical kitchen is one of the best in the country. He has good reason to, as his former restaurant was rated number one in Britain and fourth in the world by TripAdvisor last autumn. Expect excellent British cuisine in an elegant setting.
Vegan Cross, or Vx as it's known, was Britain's first 100% vegan boutique and café, founded in London in 2010. This one-stop vegan shop has now opened a second branch in Bristol, south-west England. Vx Bristol combines a deli and takeaway menu of ‘vegan junk food' and treats with a range of the best vegan products around, imported from around the globe. Vx sells shoes, grocery, patisserie, muffins, cake and clothing, by The Secret Society Of Vegans. A must-do for visiting vegans! www.vxbristol.com/#vegan-junk-food
Fancy a champagne cocktail after your brisk country walk? The Lake District is getting a luxurious new champagne bar and patisserie. The Fizzy Tarté is due to open in the heart of Bowness-on-Windermere, one of the Lake District's most vibrant villages. Open seven days a week until late, a selection of beers, wine, champagne and bespoke cocktails will be on offer, alongside delicious light bites. Ideal for long lazy lunches that stretch right into the evening. www.facebook.com/thefizzytarte
Good news for seafood lovers! After proving a big hit in Cornwall, The Rum and Crab Shack is bringing its Louisiana-style seafood and cocktails to Devon, with a new branch due to open in Exeter's historic city centre in the next few months. Watch this space: www.rumandcrabshack.com
The latest eatery to open at Headrow House in Leeds is Ox Club, serving up grill food and brunch - not at the same time! www.oxclub.co.uk
Newly opened Restaurant 92 and accompanying wine bar, The Optimist, brings fine dining with a twist to Harrogate. Rising culinary star Michael Carr's vision is to deliver traditional English recipes, updated for the 21st century. His high-quality dishes will be served as heartier Yorkshire portions, featuring foraged fruit and vegetables where possible. There are plans to create a Chef's Table later in the year in the restaurants private dining room for parties of seven to 12 people. www.restaurant92.co.uk
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com