Wild rice launched back in December on Soho’s Brewer Street, but has been slowly gaining attention with its Thai dishes using British seasonal ingredients. And now there’s a new cocktail bar, Mamasan, downstairs. Highlights included their take on a Pad Thai woonsen with vermicelli noodles and the pulled chicken leg “Khao Soi” soup – a rich turmeric flavoured curry topped with crispy noodles.
Pucci used to be on the King's Road and was famous for its pizzas. Fast forward a few years and the founder's son Rufus has now transported Pucci a mile or so up the road into the West End to a cute corner site on Maddox Street. The room is a nice date spot with low lighting and well spaced tables and the sharing style menu works well for that too. Try the labneh before tucking into some of their pizzas over a bottle of wine.
Lazy Susan made a very successful neighbourhood pit stop at the classic Harry Morgan deli and diner in St John’s Wood High Street – the menu features all the favourites, from chicken schnitzel to Rueben sandwiches to chopped liver but she was in the mood for a good old hot dog, served with crisp fries and a proper coleslaw. To follow? New York cheesecake of course. (Side note: the hoardings are up for the new Corbin & King place, Soutine, across the road, which is exciting.)
Not only does the Camden Grocer sell a carefully curated a range of gourmet and Great Taste award-winning products in their Camden Market deli, they also serve brunch, sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie. During his weekend market visit, The Dumbwaiter was lucky enough to sample their Parmesan rarebit with lemon courgette ribbons on sourdough. Priding themselves on sustainable and seasonal produce, this is one brunch spot not to be missed.
Advice to anyone thinking of opening a neighbourhood restaurant: book in to Six Portland Road to watch and learn. Lazy Susan had a dreamy Saturday date night in the bustling Holland Park spot – from the short but appealing menu, scallops with cauliflower and hazelnut jumped out, but even better was the main course pork chop with griddled celeriac, soft apple and crisp boudin noir, served with the most amazing potatoes. They’d been sliced, compressed, baked and then fried to look almost like slices of toast but oh-so indulgent.