Welcome to our weekly digest of all that’s happening in London’s food and drink scene.
Inside this week: comings, goings, spin-offs
Sargeant in the Strand
Mark Sargeant, the ex-Ramsay chef who heads up Plum + Spilt Milk in King’s Cross and Rocksalt in Kent, will be taking over the kitchens at The Strand Dining Rooms near Trafalgar Square. It seems the restaurant’s owners are bringing in the big guns after it failed to make much of an impression when it first launched last summer. Sargeant — who won a Michelin star during his time running the restaurant at Claridge’s — told Bloomberg that he will transform The Strand Dining Rooms into something reminiscent of nearby 187 year old restaurant Simpson’s-in-the-Strand. He said: “I’ve always been in love with the idea of Simpson’s but not in love with the place itself… it would be great to do somewhere like Simpson’s-in-the-Strand properly… I mean old classics, done beautifully well.”
On your Marksman, get set, go
Two chefs from Clerkenwell’s St John restaurant have taken over the Marksman pub on Hackney Road. Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram have closed the pub’s kitchen and will relaunch it in May with a menu inspired by the history of London and its cultural diversity. This translates into dishes including salt beef, pickled fish, mutton curry and suckling pig with beer mustard. Sunday roasts will also feature, while the basement will be turned into a tasting room.
Chef Francesco Mazzei has left City Italian L’Anima, which has been considered one of the capital’s best Italian restaurants since he launched it over seven years ago. Antonio Favuzzi, who has worked in the restaurant’s kitchen for six years, has replaced him. What Mazzei will do next is not yet known, but he’s rumoured to have a new project in the pipeline.
Big Easy’s big plans
Barbecue restaurant Big Easy — which has branches in Chelsea and Covent Garden — will launch a third site in Canary Wharf later this year, as well as an ambitious £3m crowdfunding campaign to fuel further expansion. The Canary Wharf restaurant will be set on the top floor of the area’s new Crossrail station, will feature an oyster bar and play host to live music every night.
This week saw the openings of British restaurant The Richmond in Haggerston, eclectic and veg-heavy neighbourhood venue Queenswood in Battersea, vast 200-cover all-day eatery Percy & Founders in Fitzrovia, French restaurant and wine bar Patron in Kentish Town and another branch of Islington’s Smokehouse in Chiswick.
Next week sees a quartet of restaurant spin-offs open in the capital. On Monday, West End classic The Ivy launches Ivy Chelsea Garden, a second branch of Soho’s Ceviche opens near Old Street and Covent Garden’s Joe’s Southern Kitchen branches out with a site in Kentish Town. On Wednesday, a second Foxlow restaurant opens, bringing the Clerkenwell favourite to Stoke Newington. Later in the week Flat Three will open in Holland Park with a menu merging Korean, Japanese and Scandinavian influences.
We round-up London’s biggest food and drink news stories and the latest new and upcoming restaurant openings in this handy digest every Thursday afternoon. See our previous editions.
The Best Food And Drink In London — recommendations of where to enjoy the capital’s top food and drink, categorised by cuisine, food type and more.
New Restaurant Reviews — our views on London’s latest openings.
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