Published 23 April 2021
by Harriet Prior
In addition to our weekly Bulletin, here we round up this quarter’s biggest news and openings to know about in the global restaurant and hotel scene. By Harriet Prior
The team behind Great Scotland Yard Hotel is getting ready to open its smaller, more secluded hotel, No.1 The Townhouse. A standalone private residence next door to the main hotel, the townhouse is in a Grade II listed building, ideal for those looking for a home from home while visiting the capital. There are all the perks of a five-star hotel, though, including a Fortnum & Mason seasonal hamper on check in, roll-top copper baths and views across the rooftops of London.
With a return to the office imminent for many, we’re always on the lookout for new after-work drink spots. So, it’s good news for the many fans of the brilliant Crispin in Spitalfields, as the team has announced it will launch ‘Bar Crispin’ on Kingly Street, right behind Liberty. Bar Crispin will be foremost a natural wine bar, with a list of more than 150 wines, but there’s also a snack menu and small-plate offering from head chef Naz Hussan and consultant executive chef Tom Cenci.
A holiday to Greece may have to wait a little longer, but enjoying proper Greek food is the next best thing. From the founders of Marylebone restaurant OSPO and Athens-based two Michelin-starred restaurant Funky Gourmet, INO in Soho centres on the ancient Greek technique of cooking over charcoal on the ‘Psistaria’ grill. Think lamb sweetbread skewers, day-boat fish, souvlaki with iberico pork and wine from Greek’s most exciting producers.
It’s not a move we expected, but one we can certainly get behind. Tom Kerridge is set to make his mark on the fast food – and vegan – game with his latest initiative Bad Vegan in Camden’s Buck Street Market, due to launch this spring. The menu will be mostly plant-based, with a selection of non-vegan toppings and sides, and aims to introduce more people to plant-based food. There will be vegan ‘hero’ dishes (think burgers, nuggets and fries), shakes and beers in collaboration with Camden Town Brewery.
Launching in the trendy Jericho area of Oxford is new restaurant, wine bar and wine shop Wilding. Named after the practice of restoring overworked land, this ethos sits at the heart of wine expert and founder Kent Barker’s idea. We’re told the restaurant will be ‘creative, unpretentious and engaging’, with more than 400 wines selected by head of wine Sarah Helliwell, all available to purchase from the wine shop, and a seasonally changing menu of locally sourced produce. Opening in May, there is a 60-cover garden terrace for the warmer months ahead.
Husband and wife duo Luke French and Stacy Sherwood – included in this year’s 100 most influential women in hospitality list – are busy running Restaurant Jöro in Sheffield, planning Hotel Jöro and now getting ready to open Nama in Liverpool. A contemporary Tokyo-inspired restaurant in the city’s MetQuarter, Nama (meaning raw) will serve a changing menu of sashimi and nigiri, as well as other dishes. We like the sound of the vibrant cocktail menu, too.
Food-hall business Sessions Market launched an accelerator platform to provide operators with opportunities during the pandemic, and now the team is opening Brighton’s first and only food hall, Shelter Hall, on 26 April. Bringing together local chefs and artists, the opening forms part of a wider £19m renovation of the seafront. Lost Boys Chicken, Hanoi Kitchen, and Crabshack are already signed up, and there will also be a chance for new operators to launch a four-month residency through it’s ‘foodpreneuers’ platform.
For the many people deciding to holiday in the UK this year, a visit to MARA in the Scottish Highlands sounds like a good option. A fine-dining restaurant celebrating Scottish produce, MARA is inside Links House at Royal Dornoch, Scotland’s most northerly five-star hotel. We like the sound of the activities on offer, too, including coastal foraging for seaweed, sea buckthorn and shellfish, whisky tasting and salmon fishing.
The cult Japanese members-only restaurant brand Wagyumafia is celebrating its fifth birthday with the launch of a new site. Wagyumafia District is close to the Tokyo Olympics stadium and is, like its other spaces, very discreet and identifiable only by a thin, neon red line above the entrance door. Set over three levels, inside there are four different concepts, including stand-up Big Wag burger bar, a hidden teppan room and Wagyumafia coffee. There is also tinned highball cocktails, merchandise and of course that famous cutlet sando.
Crazy golf concept Swingers is heading stateside as part of its latest expansion plan. It’s hugely popular in both London’s City and West End, and now it’s opening two new sites in Washington, D.C and New York City later this year. As with the London sites, there will be exciting street food options, cocktail bars, and a live DJ alongside crazy golf. From a pop-up in a London warehouse to opening in the US, we look forward to seeing what the Swingers team get up to next.
Beginning his culinary career at Le Gavroche, Jun Tanaka opened his first solo venture The Ninth in London in 2015, and now he’s heading to Hong Kong to launch Salisterra. Drawing inspiration from France and Italy, the Michelin-starred chef is creative an ‘expressive and seasonal’ menu. High above Hong Kong, the restaurant looks set to have some of the best views in the city, and there’s an open kitchen for guests to watch to chef in action, too.
British chef Daniel Calvert became Honk Kong’s youngest Michelin-starred chef at Belon, and he’s now launching brand-new restaurant Sézanne at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi this June. With 40-covers, the restaurant will be intimate and will serve a tasting menu showcasing technique-driven French cuisine. Calvert will also oversee the hotel’s entire food offering, including a more casual bistro bar.