Wed, 18th Jul 2018
CODE Special
Restaurant Gossip




Japan Centre

40 years after opening London’s favourite Japanese food hall, Tak Tokumine will be launching a flagship site for the Japan Centre. The new Panton Street site will have a 100-seat dine-in courtyard surrounded by open kitchens, along with the main food hall stocking everything from homewares to hand-pulled udon. There will also be three unique rooms: one dedicated to sake, another to niche miso products and a third for speciality teas by the gram.


Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden

This summer sees family affair Petersham Nurseries land in the beating heart of the West End. The Richmond institution is taking over a prime spot in Covent Garden housing a deli, wine cellar, home and garden shop and a florist. There’s also room for two restaurants, the first of which is an Italian all-day affair serving cicchetti and aperitivo. The second, The Petersham, is closer to the original restaurant’s roots with a refined à la carte menu.




Clare Smyth

Gordon Ramsay protégés Jason Atherton, Angela Hartnett, and Marcus Waring are tough acts to follow when it comes to flying the nest and setting up independent ventures. So the upcoming launch of Clare Smyth’s first restaurant, Core, comes with big expectations. During her ten years at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Smyth became the first British female to oversee a three Michelin-starred kitchen. Her 60-cover Notting Hill site, which shares a history with Prue Leith’s first restaurant, is due to open in July.




From Hackney to Heddon street, restaurateurs James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy are following the success of their Michelin-starred Pidgin with a new opening in Zone 1 this summer. The duo have described the offering as a modern British version of dim sum, with trays of cocktails and trollies of hot and cold plates circulating the dining room – an idea Herlihy picked up on a trip to San Francisco and something both acknowledge is “kind of wacky”.


Rest of the UK



After launching the UK’s biggest ever restaurant Kickstarter, Gary Usher’s #Wreckfishmaybe is #Wreckfishdefinitely. Usher ran a passionate Twitter campaign hitting the £200,000 target two days ahead of schedule and drumming up support from more than 1,500 backers. Industry heavyweights Dan Doherty, Angela Harnett and Tom Kerridge were among those to proffer their services for pledges. The new site will be in Liverpool and joins the restaurateur’s line up of Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle and Hispi.




The Raymond Blanc Gardening School

This summer Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is opening their garden gate to the public with the launch of The Raymond Blanc Gardening School. Head gardener and Le Manoir veteran, Anne Marie Owens, will be imparting 30 years of green-fingered wisdom in classes ranging from micro herbs and edible flowers to the myths of pruning. With 11 world class gardens and orchards, there’s no shortage of teaching materials on the Oxfordshire estate.


Dan Cox

Dan Cox, previously executive chef at Fera and before that head chef at Roux at Parliament Square, has escaped the city in favour of a more bucolic enterprise in Cornwall. Taking over the 120-acre Crocadon Farm in St Mellion, Cox plans to grow organic produce and rear livestock for a restaurant that will open on the site later this year. The venture is in partnership with Sean O’Neill of Cornwall’s Good Earth Growers network.


The Raby Hunt

After winning a second Michelin star last autumn, James Close of The Raby Hunt would be forgiven for resting on his laurels. Instead he cut opening hours to give staff more time off and embarked upon a £400,000 renovation project to build a new development kitchen and a glass wall to let diners watch Close and his team at work. Just two weeks after reopening The Raby Hunt came in at number 25 at the National Restaurant Awards, cementing its rise to the top.


Rest of the World

Adrià brothers, NYC

It was over a Skype call, just a day before the announcement, that Albert and Ferran Adrià decided to sign up to José André’s New York food hall project in the Hudson Yards development. With eight Michelin stars between them, the three chefs have envisaged a Spanish version of Eataly which will include a tapas bar, retail shop, wine bar and wood-fired restaurant. The project will be developed on Spanish soil and is due to debut in its Manhattan home in autumn 2018.


Barr, Copenhagen

After keeping the news under wraps for 18 months, Jutlandic chef Thorsten Schmidt has announced a partnership agreement with René Redzepi to take over Noma’s iconic waterfront site in Copenhagen. The new restaurant, Barr, takes its inspiration from countries surrounding the North Sea and despite a simpler looking menu than its predecessor, dishes are likely to show signs of Schmidt’s 10 years working alongside Redzepi.


Le Big Mac

As the popularity of le hamburger in France threatens to eclipse the nation’s love affair with steak frites, McDonald’s is looking to edge its way into the premium market by offering customers a plastic knife and fork when ordering the “signature” gourmet burger. The move comes alongside the introduction of table service – available in around 80% of McDonald’s outlets in France – and seeks to fend off competition from the likes of newly arrived Five Guys.




Jason Atherton has announced plans to add to his Social Company portfolio with the opening of a second Sosharu site, this time in Shanghai. The Japanese gastropub will be part of the Edition hotel and will open next Easter under the headship of Alex Craciun. Despite plans for two or three other openings in the near future, Atherton has cited the turbulent climate of Brexit as a reason to be cautious. “I think [the hospitality industry] has to batten down the hatches” said the chef, speaking at the Restaurant Congress in June.


This article was first published in Issue 11 of CODE Quarterly.

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