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Pont Street at Belgraves Hotel

Pont Street at Belgraves Hotel

September 11, 2013 By Nick Savage

At the tender age of 14 Sophie Michell cut her teeth in the kitchens of The Lanesborough and The Greenhouse, two of London’s most esteemed eateries. Now, seventeen years later, after career pilgrimages to California and Australia, she will be bringing her experiences to bear as one of the youngest female Executive Chefs in Britain, at her restaurant Pont St at the Belgraves hotel. The weapon of choice to attract gastronomes? Simple, fresh Mediterranean-influenced fare including sea urchin, chilli and garlic spaguetti with bottarga shavings or baked spiced Cornish crab with jalapeno hollandaise and sourdough croutes. A light and airy room replete with creamy hues and smoky mirrors will serve as the perfect accompaniment.

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Chotto Matte

Chotto Matte

October 10, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurants

Chotto Matte is a massive opening in Soho. So massive, in fact, that it is taking over three entire floors on Frith Street, with six separate areas, designed by the architects responsible for The Ivy and Quo Vadis with the work of street artists from Japan and the UK. The ground floor will house a curvilinear bar cut from lava stone with an array of Nipponese-inspired cocktails. Next door there’s a dining area with a prix fixe raw bar helmed by the Emperor of Japan’s former chef, Tetsuya Kayo. Guests can reach the upper floors by ascending a helical burnt timber staircase which leads to an open robata grill, a sushi bar, and a 100-cover dining room. Executive chef Jordan Sclare, who cut his teeth at Aqua and Nobu, has created an affordable menu of Peruvian-influenced Japanese sharing dishes made with top-quality, sustainable produce including avocado tempura with smoked purple potato; barbecue pork belly with nashi pear salsa; grilled baby chicken with spicy pomegranate salsa; and a wide range of smoky robata grilled fare.

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Breakfast at Aqua Shard

Breakfast at Aqua Shard

September 11, 2013 By Nick Savage

Top shelf Modern British resto Aqua Shard has just launched a new breakfast menu that’s sure to set you up right for the day, with a selection of elegant a la carte options over which guests can watch the city come to life. These include London’s longest hand sliced luxury smoked salmon served with custom-cooked scrambled eggs and corn fritters, lobster Eggs Benedict, and the signature full English breakfast brimming with Cumberland sausages, dry cured streaky bacon, salted ricotta, smoked ham hock cannellini beans and black pudding. Those who prefer cardio over cholesterol will have more nourishing options in the form of granola muesli with organic sheep’s milk pannacotta, baked autumn fruits, star anise and honey or oatmeal porridge with almond milk, blackberry compote and chia seeds; guaranteed to leave you feeling on top of the world.

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Trader Vic's

Trader Vic's

October 10, 2013 By Nick Savage Bar,

Before Mahiki there was Trader Vic’s. In fact, before most tiki bars, there was Trader Vic’s. Following fifty years of operations and guests running the gamut from Charlie Chaplin to Elton John to Amber Atherton (haha), the Polynesian-inspired bar has received a nice facelift. There’s a new totem pole framed bar crafted from bamboo tile and south island tapa cloth, there’s a fresh colour palette chosen to bring a bit of Oceania to W1, and there’s an abundance of exotic ephemera - with a plethora of clam shells, carved wooden statues, boat wheels, pendant Chinese lighting and thatched surfaces. This venue is surprisingly big, it's a great venue to impress with. If you’re in need of a quality Mai-Tai (and who isn’t?), you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than at Trader Vic’s bar, whose eponymous founder originally created it in 1944.

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Coal Vaults

Coal Vaults

September 4, 2013 By Nick Savage

Coal Vaults

 

Wardour Street has welcomed yet another hip eatery to the Soho scene. Housed in a space formerly used for storing coal in the early 19th century, Coal Vaults has been reincarnated as a cocktail-heavy small plates joint paying homage to its origins with a design hinging on utilitarian materials like copper, steel, timber and brick. There are even five separate vaults where you can enjoy Modern British delicacies produced by chefs Magnus Reid and James Knox Boothman. Dishes will include five hour shoulder of lamb cooked in hay and lavender and served with caper, mint and spiced anchovy couscous; Westcombe dairy ricotta cakes with figs, wild rocket and balsamic syrup as well as seared scallops with black pudding, cider sauce and celery salted apple crisps.

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AD12 @ T42

AD12 @ T42

October 3, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurant

Following ten years of Michelin-admired cooking with Rhodes 24, Tower 42 will continue as a beacon for gourmands with a twelve week pop-up from Anthony Demetre before Jason Atherton takes the reigns in 2014 with a permanent restaurant. Demetre has won Michelin stars at Arbutus and Wild Honey and widespread critical applause for his laidback yet sophisticated dining experiences. AD12 at T42 will give offer diners the opportunity to feast on beautiful vistas of the cityscape while enjoying Demetre’s most popular dishes. These include a squid and mackerel burger with razor clams; crisp pig’s head with potato purée and pickled parsnip; rabbit saddle and shoulder with roast carrot and autumn greens; and a chocolate ‘Aero Bar’ with pears. Any Innerplace members will receive priority seating by a window. Also, we’re having a competition where you could win a meal for two at AD12 with wines selected by our sommelier (worth a total of £140!). If you're an Innerplace member, contact us by e-mail to enter!

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Smokehouse

Smokehouse

September 28, 2013 By Nick Savage

Smokehouse

 

Neil Rankin has been blazing new trails in British barbecue since the Hungerford Bridge days of Pitt Cue, and will be bringing his smoking brilliance to bear at new Islington eatery Smokehouse. Fresh from his successful stint at John Salt, Mr Rankin will be collaborating with the minds behind The Princess of Shoreditch and The Pig and Butcher to create a relaxed, genteel restaurant with a menu forged together by the charcoal grill. Dishes will be chalked up on the blackboard daily, with potential selections including short rib Bourguignon; peppered ox cheek with cauliflower cheese and gravy; or fritto misto with romesco. The design will dovetail nicely with its Islington environs, featuring a rusticated dining room with an abundance of raw woods and an al fresco area primed for sunny September evenings.

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London Wins Its Fair Share of Michelin Stars

London Wins Its Fair Share of Michelin Stars

October 3, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurants

The time of the year just passed when every chef prepares to celebrate or commiserate their inclusion/omission in the world’s most respected guide to restaurants. Here’s the breakdown for London:

 

Two Stars - New
• The Greenhouse
• Dinner by Heston

One Star - New
• Ametsa by Arzak Instruction
• Lima
• Angler
• Social Eating House
• Bo London
• Brasserie Chavot
• HKK
• Outlaws at the Capital
• Story

We’re very happy to congratulate all of these restaurants for the hard work, diligence and attention to detail that distinguishes them as some of the finest in the world. However, admittedly, we’re particularly happy to congratulate the venues that treat our members as regulars, including The Greenhouse, Ametsa by Arzak Instruction, Lima and Angler. Whilst we’re on the subject, Launceston Place, one of our favourites, has been awarded four AA Rosettes. It’s one of only seven restaurants in Britain to accomplish this feat.
 

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Chop Shop

Chop Shop

September 20, 2013 By Nick Savage

Chop Shop

 

NYC’s gastronomic heavy hitters The Altamarea Group have punched into London’s scene, setting up Chop Shop, its brand new resto, on Haymarket next week. Renowned for elegant eateries Ai Fiori and Osteria Morini, the group will channel the transatlantic spirit of London and New York to inform the venue, with two floors of whitewashed brickwork, distressed dark wood panelling, and large reclaimed tiles. Nestled just a moment's walk away from tourism epicentre Piccadilly Circus, it really feels like you might be eating a steak in the Lower East Side. The menu is divided into ‘jars’ of meat and fish patés, ‘planks’ of cheese and charcuterie, and ‘crocks’ full of baked meatballs and gratins. There are, of course, plenty of the eponymous chops, as well as burgers, fish and rib steak sandwiches. The hanger steak was especially good, with a variety of sauces provided a gratis as accoutrements. An astringent chimichurri was particularly well suited for offsetting the deep, earthy flavours of the onglet cut, while the desserts provided the appropriate full stop punctuation to the meal, with throwback dishes from across the pond including a lovely brownie sundae with vanilla gelato, warm peanut butter sauce and salted peanuts. If you’re yearning for a bit of NYC edginess, Chop Shop might be the ideal venue to get a cut.

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Joe Allen - A Covent Garden Classic

Joe Allen - A Covent Garden Classic

October 3, 2013 By Nick Savage Restaurant

For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure, Joe Allen is one of Covent Garden’s best kept secrets, and stands in stark contrast the modish, fly-by-night openings that flash brightly in the pan but leave little legacy. The mark that Joe Allen has made on London is already quite visible, having launched the careers of Jeremy Lee, Russell Norman and Rowley Leigh. Where industrial accents are now de rigueur, Joe Allen’s bricks have been bare since the restaurant’s inception in 1977. Also, burgers, another on trend offering, have received pride of place as one of the most famous dishes at Joe Allen, in spite of being off menu. The design has been tweaked to let in a bit more air while retaining the same DNA and remaining a slice of living history. If you’re after a martini and a meal that Don Draper would approve of, or simply miss that New York kind of attitude, this theatreland bolthole is one of the best spots to get it in London.

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