All posts tagged: drink

Spice Market launches Barley & Buns bao pop-up

For a limited time only, diners at Spice Market can tuck into Taiwanese-style bao buns with the new Barley & Buns pop-up menu. Capitalising on the success of Taiwanese gua bao (steamed, fluffy white buns traditionally filled with pork belly) on the London street food scene, Spice Market has launched its own menu of savoury bao buns with a pop-up, Barley & Buns, on the ground floor of its restaurant. There are six buns (£4 – £7) to choose from and one additional ‘bun of the week’ – on the evening we visited, barbecue chicken was in order. The fillings, all of which have south-east Asian influences, are comforting and well portioned, and the buns are pillowy soft with a trace of sweetness. There are lots of textures at play on the menu, from the more tender choices like classic pork belly with pickled shallots, basil and mint, and Thai shrimp cake with mango and a sweet nuoc cham fish sauce dressing, to one of our firm favourites – the soy-glazed short rib with apple …

Ma’ Plucker opens Southern chicken shop in Soho

Plucky newcomer Ma’ Plucker takes roost in Soho to bring you Southern-style chicken from noon til night. Ma’ Plucker might only have one ingredient as its specialty but it sure knows how to mix things up so you keep coming back for more. Here, in this small-seater restaurant, you’ll find chicken cooked three ways and served up in any combination you wish. First, make a choice from three bases that will determine your level of indulgence – there’s a salad, a house bun or some maple waffles. Next, pick a sauce to accompany your dish, the chirpy staff can offer assistance here if you’re unsure about the most complementary flavour combinations. Then comes the most important decision of the day – choose the style in which your chicken is cooked. You can have the chipotle-rubbed rotisserie, the fried crispy-coated buttermilk or the hickory-spiced pulled chicken. Crispy-coated halloumi cheese is also available for vegetarians and if you’re feeling a bit rebellious, you can even opt for the BBQ-braised beef short rib sub. But chicken is the …

Jean-Jacques Brasserie and Wine Bar opens in Soho

From Moscow and St. Petersburg to London, Jean-Jacques brings all-day classic French dining to Soho. It’s easy enough to neglect the good old tried and tested classics amongst the excitement of the latest foodie import or craziest foodie concoction that Soho is so renowned for. But when exhaustion kicks in and all you want is just a bit of the familiar, it’s good to know there are plenty of places you can turn to within striking distance. Jean-Jacques is one such place for fuss-free, traditional French food done well. It is set across three floors with a causal bar in the basement, a café decked out in black, white and red on the ground floor and a more formal cream and golden-accented, mirrored-ceiling restaurant upstairs with an outdoor terrace for open-air dining if the weather permits. Bar a couple of Russian dishes, there aren’t any surprises on the French menu. A trio of lightly seared scallops (£10) has a lovely herbaceous hit from the salsa verde and tomato fondue. A simple but generously layered endive …

Take Note: Ten Lifestyle Concierge

It takes a pretty special team to be able to deliver on the most extravagant to the most exacting of requests but for Ten Lifestyle Concierge, such is their forte. Here, one of team’s restaurant lifestyle managers Melvyna Mumunie shares the secrets that only those “in the know” know to help you get the most out of the London dining scene. 1. Supper clubs are nothing new but Robin Gill from The Dairy’s Bloodshot series of late night dinners caught my attention. Every month one of London’s top chefs takes over the stove. It kicks off at 1am and carries on until sunrise. It’s mainly for London’s hard-working kitchen staff but four members of the public can attend each month. 2. Demand at any of Jason Atherton’s new openings is always high and always justified – Social Eating House snapped up a Michelin star after five months. Few know about the counter table downstairs overlooking the main kitchen – you’ll struggle to find a more intimate chef’s table in the capital. 3. Speakeasy-style drinking dens …

Summer Tales

FOOD FEST Needing somewhere to laze about whilst indulging in restaurant-quality food and drink? You’ll be spoilt for choice at this pop-up which also features a dance floor and open terrace complete with hammocks and swing chairs. The job of ensuring that guests have plenty to feast on falls to the likes of Burger & Lobster who will be serving up a new “Baby Burger” made using three cuts of steak, street food favourites Pizza Pilgrims and newcomer Nanny Bill’s who will be delighting hordes with meatballs in tomato and ragu sauce in a roll. Four bars come pre-loaded with cocktails, frozen punch, coconut juice and fine wine. With so much to enjoy under one roof, you’ll never want to leave. Summer Tales, Red Market, 288 Old Street, London EC1V 9DP. nighttales.co.uk

Sackville’s brings truffle and gourmet burgers to Mayfair

Swish new Mayfair bar and restaurant Sackville’s opens with a fine truffle and beef showcase. This isn’t a place you’ll forget any time soon, for if your thoughts thereafter regularly turn to whether a dish, any dish, could be enhanced with a bit of truffle, then Sackville’s has successfully imprinted its ethos of easy indulgence into your being. This very thought ruminated in our minds as we watched some black truffle being mandolined into what was already a damn fine martini at our table. The display of decadence is a thread that runs through all that Sackville’s is, from the sumptuous teal velvet banquettes and heavy marble tables, to the marvellous cuts of beef and obligatory inclusion of truffle at every possible turn. The small, open kitchen at the end of the restaurant, which has space for four, feels intimate and offers a fascinating glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes, that’s if you can if you can handle the heat. Whilst the exterior is admirably discreet, the dark industrial but highly polished, 60s-feel …

Make your own gin and tonic at the Fever-Tree pop-up

G&T fan? You’re in luck as this summer, the Green Room at the National Theatre plays host to a pop-up Fever-Tree Gin & Tonic Garden. As far as garden parties go, this one might just be the most well-stocked gin and tonic one in London. Open daily, the Fever-Tree Gin & Tonic Garden is an ideal place for your post-work summer hangouts. Just grab a deck chair and lounge about in the garden or bring a group and clamber around the picnic benches instead. Either way, you’ll do just fine where drinks are concerned. Those wanting to experiment with flavours can create their own gin and tonics from a selection of gins that include Sipsmith, Hendrick’s and Jensen’s Bermondsey Dry as well as Fever-Tree’s collection of tonic waters that include low-calorie and elderflower-infused varieties. Cocktails are available too from the Ultimate Vodka and Tonic (Black Cow vodka, Fever- Tree Mediterranean tonic, pink grapefruit) to The Perfect Storm (Diplomatico Anejo rum, Fever-Tree ginger beer, lime). And where there’s a garden, barbequed meat can’t be far away …

Crab Tavern seafood restaurant and bar opens in the City

All-day surf-and-turf restaurant Crab Tavern is the latest foodie spot to open up in burgeoning dining hub Broadgate Circle. Who says seafood can’t be an everyday indulgence when there’s a feast to be had right in the middle of the City at the newly opened Crab Tavern where you can comfortably crab out on your favourite crustaceans any day of the week. But don’t let the name above the door fool you because this isn’t a one-trick restaurant. Whilst crab may be their speciality, you’ll find there’s a satisfying selection of other sea and land options too, from the catch of the day (market price) to steak and chips (£25) and pot roast chicken (£17.50). Sandwiches are given an upgrade too with the lobster BLT (£18) and oyster po’ boy (£10) being the highlights. And do try to start with a pot of slip-off-the-bone pork belly ribs (£7.50) that come smothered in a sweet and mildly spicy barbeque sauce that will leave you smacking your lips. But whilst you’re here, it is certainly worth shelling …

Noir opens late night bar and kitchen in Marylebone

New evening drinking den Noir opens its doors to late night revellers. It’s quite handy knowing there’s somewhere close by you can pick up a cocktail to celebrate a successful spree at Selfridges. In fact, Noir, which opens its doors at 5pm, is situated just opposite so there aren’t any excuses. It’d be a shame not to be outdoors during the summer but you’ve got to be quick to grab an outside table. Alternatively, the main bar area makes for a comfortable pit stop where you can enjoy a quick succession of energising cocktails and some pretty substantial bar bites. Pink Friction (gin, grapefruit, lime, elderflower and lychee foam – £11) and Scarlet Fever (Cognac, blueberries, violet and blueberry liqueurs, blue mist tea and peach – £11) are equally summery sweet and endlessly gulpable. Those in need of a stronger hit should opt for Citizen Cane (aged rum, rum-fashioned syrup, vermouth and amaro – £12) or the smoked Conflicted Hero (mescal, tequila and vermouth). Thankfully, the bar bites here go beyond a bowl of “from …

Gilgamesh opens Belle Epoque Champagne bar

Camden’s pan-Asian restaurant Gilgamesh adds a dedicated Champagne bar and chef’s table to its vast offering. The sight of summer nearing is certainly something worth celebrating and down by Camden Lock, Gilgamesh has got the right idea. Its newly opened Belle Époque Champagne bar houses plenty of Perrier-Jouet to enjoy by the glass (from £13) or bottle (from £65), as well as a healthy collection of Champagne cocktails (£15) to complement, including a sweet and vibrant Ishtar (Havana Club rum, rose liqueur, raspberry puree, lemon juice, Champagne). In addition, those wanting to get up-close and personal to the chef and his kitchen will enjoy the new private chef’s table. Through an ornate glass screen decorated with gold linen, diners will be able to see the preparation table as their dishes are put together whilst Chef offers a personal running commentary of the food and drink selected. Both are set against the main restaurant which boasts lofty 40ft-high ceilings but the over-decorated and out-dated spectacle of Babylonian-themed interiors still manages to overwhelm the senses. The menu, …