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Sixtyone

Sixtyone

November 28, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurants

For fine dining at a reasonable price point in Marble Arch, Sixtyone hits the mark. Helmed by chef patron Arnaud Stevens who formerly worked in the kitchens of Searcy’s at The Gherkin, Maze Grill, La Tante Claire and City Rhodes, the restaurant will be serving diners elegant, grown-up fare in a mature setting. Located in the Montcalm Hotel, the room was designed by Tonik and features hundreds of pendulous polished-brass baubles suspended from the centre of the ceiling. Sixtyone has a bit of a subdued ambience, with muted colours employed throughout and large paintings of livestock adorning the walls. There are many delicious dishes on the menu; the one that particularly stood out was the mussels with bread soup and crispy pork belly. The proteins were artistically arranged on the floor of the bowl, before being submerged underneath a flume of thick bread soup. The main that really caught our attention was the braised beef cheek, so tender that it gave way underneath the side of a spoon, and accompanied by a cylinder of black pudding encased in crispy pancetta and a sumptuous, creamy swiss chard gratin on the side (steakhouses should study up on it). Our tip? Next time the ‘rents are in town, take them here. 

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Olivocarne

Olivocarne

November 28, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurants

Any Italians who live or work around Victoria/Belgravia know about Mauro Sanna and his excellent little empire of Sardinian restaurants. Beginning in 1990 with the founding of Olivo, he’s opened a constellation of Italian eateries spanning the neighbourhood, the latest of which is Olivocarne, which, in spite of its rather sanguinary name, is not only for the carnivorous. The multi-level venue offers a variety of seating options. Try to snag a spot underneath the skylight, it’s an airy space where contemporary décor is offset by artefacts from Sardinia. The kitchen demonstrates an able hand at whipping up moreish flavours. For starters, tartare con bottarga is a delicious southern take on the French staple. Opting for chilli instead of tabasco and grated fish roe instead of capers, it sets the meal up nicely. To complement this, go vegetarian and try the chargrilled courgette salad with salted ricotta and truffle oil. The mains are not solely meaty, however the meaty mains are very good indeed, particularly a pheasant encased in Sardinian ham and baked with fortified Sardinian wine. This is paired beautifully by a side of crispy, deep-fried artichokes. Following the meal, we strongly recommend repairing to their upstairs bar, where you can enjoy a cigar and a grappa on the sheltered patio to spur on the digestion. The climate might not be quite Mediterranean, but ask them to crank up the heaters to eleven, and one can pretend. 
 
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Steam and Rye

Steam and Rye

November 28, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurants

Nick House definitely knows how to throw a party. Following on from his already illustrious career opening the most brash and brilliant clubs in the capital, he’s making his first foray into the City alongside nationally cherished supermodel and co-owner Kelly Brook with new club Steam and Rye. The power pair certainly pushed the boat out with the launch, populating the three massive floors with some of the most celebrated faces in the country. House was savvy in his choice of theme for Steam and Rye. The building is so monolithic in scale that it brings to mind Roaring Twenties American excess, and in keeping with that he’s orchestrated a design inspired by NYC’s Grand Central Station, with tables situated in a steam carriage, a living clock (statuesque bronzed models flanked the chronometer at the launch), a stage for live performances and a gigantic bar behind which award-winning bartender Andy Mil plies his mixology prowess. Guests looking for something a bit more intimate can climb the stairs to the Cargo Hold, a dimly-lit den packed to the gills with taxidermy and other ephemera, with a glass-faced wall through which you can watch the action unfold below. The 1st Class Cocktail Carriage is another long bar equipped dining carriage. As if that’s not enough, Josper-grilled USDA Prime meats come thanks to Michelin-starred chef Andy McLeish of Chapter One in Kent. Yep, this train seems to be express. House has pulled out all the stops. 

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Tonkotsu East

Tonkotsu East

November 21, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurant

For delicious ramen, Tonkotsu has been our first choice since it opened last year, dishing out steaming hot bowls of the titular soup for punters looking for an umami punch in Soho. Following Tonkotsu’s rampant success (named Best Cheap Easts at the 2013 OFM Awards and an inclusion in Giles Coren’s Top 50 Restaurants) restaurateurs Emma Reynolds and Ken Yamada have exported their delicious food east to the hipster hordes of Haggerston, in a beautifully restored railway arch on Dunston Lane. All of the staple favourites will be on the menu, including unbelievably crisp chicken kara-age, gyoza and the landmark tonkotsu, however this new opening will be diversifying its portfolio with some new dishes including crab korokke, sea bass sashimi and Tsukeman – delicious cold ramen noodles that you dip in a rich, porky broth. We heartily recommend visiting for a reasonably priced, unreasonably tasty meal. It’s hard to think of a better way to take shelter from the cold than posting up at one of the eatery’s beautiful, blond, live-edge tables or countertops, enjoying a stiff drink from behind its well-stocked bar, and enjoying a warm and restorative bowl of noodles.

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Tom and Ed Martin's Newest Restaurant; One Canada Square

Tom and Ed Martin's Newest Restaurant; One Canada Square

November 21, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurant

Tom and Ed Martin have rusticated London with a variety of taxidermy-enthusiastic pubs and restaurants, serving Modern Brit comfort foods par excellence. Their newest restaurant, One Canada Square, however, is forging new trails, eschewing shabby chic for Art Deco opulence, and doing a dab hand at it at that. The venue, designed by the late, great David Collins, comprises of two floors, interconnected by a striking grand staircase, with three prepossessing pillars segregating the ground floor bar from the restaurant and serving as the backdrop for both bars. Angle for a table in the back, which will give you a commanding view of the scene. There’s an amazing cocktail menu, centring on G&Ts and Negronis, available on an iPad, as is their generous wine menu. We opted for the Charles Hours Cuvée Marie Jurançon which was the perfect complement to the seafood dishes that followed, particularly the yellowfin tartare with spiced avocado and a wonderfully astringent black pepper dressing. Other highlights from the menu included crisp skinned, pan-fried seabass served with a creamy black squid ink risotto, as well as a scallop and shrimp burger served with kimchee and frites. There are plenty of delicious autumn and winter puddings to round off the meal, including a rich sticky date and honey pudding offset with a cornflake sorbet. One Canada Square is a classy little addition to the Canary Wharf dining scene – definitely worth a visit. 

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Celebrity Screening of Saving Mr Banks

Celebrity Screening of Saving Mr Banks

November 21, 2013 By Nick Savage Events

On Wednesday 27th November there will be a very special celebrity screening of Saving Mr Banks at the Vue Cinema on Leicester Square. The evening will kick off at 6.30pm with a Champagne reception sponsored by Taittinger so that guests can loosen up before the screening. At 7.30pm the beautiful, brilliant Emma Thompson will introduce you to the film that will follow, which will commence at 7.45. For anyone unfamiliar with the film, Saving Mr Banks is the true story of how Mary Poppins’ journey to the big screen was imaginatively brought to life. It stars the fabulous Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, as well as Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and Colin Farrell.
 
Tickets are £75, please let us know ASAP if you’d like to become a member to attend at [email protected].
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New Restaurant Merchants Tavern Opened in Shoreditch

New Restaurant Merchants Tavern Opened in Shoreditch

November 13, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurant

Shoreditch was in need of an opening like Merchants Tavern. Situated on Great Eastern Street, a stone’s throw from food truck haven Red Market, amongst various pop-ups gone permanent and hipster dens and Britart-studded bistros, this new opening is offering a bit of a throwback ambience, with a genteel buzz, sophisticated cocktails and superlative cuisine. Spearheaded by Angela Hartnett, Neil Borthwick, Dominic Lake and Patrick Clayton Malone, the handsome restaurant is an amalgam of 1950s Modernist and Victorian accents, with exposed brickwork and an entire herd’s allotment of green leather booths. The smart, oak-panelled, stained-glass bar is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, headed up by Neil Cook, formerly of 5 Hertford Street, who has performed a number of twists on classic cocktails. The real star of the show, however, is the Modern British food. The dishes, diminutive in stature, excel in refinement. Ingredients are painstakingly sourced and transubstantiated into homey excellence. Hogget broth with pearl barley was a poignant reminder of Britain’s rich and rusticated country cuisine, especially when paired with grilled sourdough topped with a luxuriously creamy Berkswell. A cubical roast loin of venison, topped with a dark, earthy sauce, a razor thin slice of lardo, and nestled betwixt braised red cabbage and sprout tops, followed suit in quality. There’s a wide selection of wine to complement the dishes, much of which is available by the glass and carafe. All in, Merchants Tavern looks poised to become one of E2’s premier dining destinations.

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Bloomsbury's New 24 hour Diner - VQ

Bloomsbury's New 24 hour Diner - VQ

November 13, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurants

There’s been many a time when, on the pursuit of a good night, you’re caught out in a storm of hunger. This usually results in a misbegotten visit to the local kebab or chicken or pizza shop, with an additional few days of self-loathing and acid reflux. But you don’t have to do this! Rather, head to the new 24 hour diner, VQ, on 111a Great Russell Street, just off of Tottenham Court Road. They produce quality chow throughout the day and the night, with comfortable booths, a friendly and accommodating staff (even at 3am!), and reasonably priced, tasty food served in large portions. Options range from the incendiary Bang Bang Chicken, a poached chicken salad served with sesame and lashings of chilli, to a massive 18 ounce t-bone steak served up with crispy French fries, roast tomatoes and béarnaise. The alcohol license ends at 2am, so if you want a glass of red wine with that beef, bear it in mind. 

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Burger & Lobster Opening in Knightbridge

Burger & Lobster Opening in Knightbridge

November 13, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurants

Burger & Lobster is crushing it. Nothing seems to be able to impede their tremendous crawl across Britain’s capital, and B&L has reached new zeniths of success with their newest opening, at the rarefied heights (the fifth floor to be exact) of Harvey Nichols. Guests enter through a threshold fashioned from wooden lobster cages. The Manhattan-ish dining room sports all of the hallmarks of the other B&L’s: with hardwood flooring, exposed brickwork, exposed filament bulbs, accents of iron and copper, and plush red leather banquettes. As expected, B&L has clinched the cocktails again. The eponymous gin fizz really tickled our antennas, as did the 10cc, a fresh and fizzy concoction of Tanqueray 10, lemon, cucumber, camomile syrup and soda. If you’re in a threesome and haven’t been before, go for the three-way split of burger, lobster roll and lobster. You’ll cover all the bases and it’s a truly tasty little ménage. Each option comes with a salad and some chips. Round off the evening with a selection from the dessert menu: our two favourites were the chocolate panna cotta with toasted coconut flakes or the passion fruit jelly with an airy vanilla and biscuit crumble topping. As with the others, there will be no reservations taken, but once you’re in, you’re guaranteed to have a cracking good night.  

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The Diner in Spitalfields

The Diner in Spitalfields

November 7, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurants

The Diner is one of the unsung heroes from London’s dude food movement. Popping up in locations across the city, it led the vanguard for American fast food reconceived with top shelf ingredients and a bit more tender loving care. For this opening, The Diner has pushed the boat out a bit further, with an array of craft beers from across the pond that would contend with the selection curated at even the most nerdy pub or booze shop. These include the Widmer Pitch Black IPA, Fordham Copperhead, Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale, the Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA and Vernal Minthe Stout as well as some better known beverages like the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Rogue Dead Guy Ale. If beer isn’t your cup of tea, why not have a hard tea? They have four different varieties (varie-teas?) to choose from, including The Peach Cobbler and the G & Tea. For those that are in need of some salty, fatty food to line the stomach, The Diner has that covered too Their Jucy Lucy burger (American cheese encased and melted between pulled pork paddies) hits the spot, as do their corn dogs and chili fries. Get in.

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