Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

We round up the week’s restaurant news, from the opening of a cevicheria and fish boutique in Clapham to the closure of Bonnie Gull Soho.

News:

Ed Sheeran: Pop star Ed Sheeran has secured a new alcohol licence for his Notting Hill restaurant Bertie Blossoms, allowing those not dining to buy a drink. A licence alteration application was submitted in November 2019 to extend the ability of the restaurant to sell alcohol. Approved on 13 January, the licence now gives staff at the restaurant the right to serve alcohol to customers seated at tables, including the bar area. Previously alcohol could only be sold to those eating at the restaurant.

Fiume: Battersea restaurant Fiume, run by Italian chef Francesco Mazzei, that specialises in the food of the Mezzogiorno in southern Italy, will kick off the new year with a series of wine dinner collaborations with its south London restaurants including The Other Naughty Piglet, Vagabond and Humble Grape. The Fiume Uncorked dinners will see Mazzei’s favourite local wine bars pairing Italian wines with four of his Calabrian-inspired dishes. On Wednesday 26 February, Margaux Aubry of The Other Naughty Piglet is first up, matching her pick of low-intervention, organic Italian wines with each of Francesco’s dishes. Tickets are £55 and include four courses and with matching wine pairings.

Street Food Union: The Bayou Bar and Street Food Union team have established a new takeover scheme to allow new start up food businesses the experience of an authentic service within their Tooting venue. Officially launching this month Street Food Union will host two start up food businesses, initially at its Bayou Bar site, allowing them to takeover the site for a Sunday and create their own unique pop up experiences, with the invaluable support of a team with years of experience behind them.

The Salt Room: The Salt Room restaurant in Brighton has announced the appointment of a new head chef. From 20 February, Lawrence McCarthy will take up the reigns, bringing with him experience at Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing at the Berkley, The Ledbury and most recently head chef at Michelin starred Tristan’s in Horsham. His menu will may tribute to British seafood and will be divided into sections including snacks and raw. This will include small plates such as mackerel ‘nduja & salted ricotta and spicy samphire bhajis with brown crab mayo. Also on offer will be seafood, salad and light bites, including scorched raw mullet with egg yolk, sake and finger lime.

St Clair: Also appointing personnel this week is newly-opened St Clair, a self-appointed cevicheria, fish boutique, and wine & saké cellar in London’s Clapham. Specialising in Nikkei cuisine – a fusion between Japanese and Peruvian food – the kitchen will now be lead by head Jorge Baumhauer da Silva, who was most recently head chef of the Brazilian Embassy. Sergei Gubars will be taking up the role of general manager, overseeing all front of house operations. He was previously the general manger of Babel House in Mayfair, Roast in Borough Market and Boisdale Canary Wharf. He is also an experienced wine buyer and will be responsible for the restaurant’s wine and saké collection.

Openings:

Clare Smyth: Clare Smyth, chef patron of the two Michelin-starred Core in Notting Hill, is to open a restaurant inside Crown Sydney, the city’s tallest building housing a hotel and casino. Due to open in February 2021, the restaurant will focus on Australian produce and draw inspiration from Sydney harbour and its surrounds.

Louis Vuitton: Fashion house Louis Vuitton, part of the LVMH group, is to open its first restaurant in Japan next month, with a menu devised by chef Yosuke Suga. As reported by WWD, the restaurant, called Le Café V, will be located on the top floor of Vuitton’s new four-storey Osaka outpost.

Mambow: The brainchild of chef Abby Lee, Mambow will open its doors on 10 February. Based in Shoreditch, the restaurant will serve Lee’s signature bowls, with seasonal vegetables being the stars. Inspired by her time working in Singapore and Malaysia, the bowls include the likes of a coconut yoghurt bowl with house turmeric granola and rhubarb & ginger compote for breakfast; black rice, or za’taar sprouts, roasted beets with orange miso, spicy green grilled chicken, salsa verde, and leftover pickles for lunch. Jarr kombucha will be on tap, while Lee also brews her own iced rooibos tea with lemon peel and agave.

Flat Iron Liverpool Street: Following a successful pop-up with The Winemakers Club, steak joint Flat Iron is to open a permanent venue near Liverpool Street. On the menu will be special cuts of beef, including a 28-month-old Wagyu from Primrose Hill Farm in north Yorkshire. Also up for grabs are beef dripping chips and Cru Virunga chocolate mouse, with dark Amarena cherries.

Plant-Based Pit Stop: From carnivores in Liverpool Street to vegans in King’s Cross, PBPS, billed as the first entirely vegan food hub in the UK, has opened in London’s King’s Cross Square. Collaborating with some of the capital’s most popular plant-based vendors, the site will provide sustenance to “plant-curious commuters”.

Closures:

Gezellig: Wine-focused the wine-focused restaurant inside Holborn Town Hall founded by sommelier Wieteke Teppema, is to close on Friday just eight months after opening. According to a text seen by the drinks business and WLC, the restaurant’s last service will be on Friday 31 January. Teppema said that it had been a “heart-breaking decision” and that the “overheads were too high” for the site to reach the turnover needed.

Bonnie Gull Soho: Eater London broke the news that Bonnie Gull’s seafood restaurant on Bateman Street will also close on 31 January. Writing on Instagram, the restaurant said: “Sometimes great things too must end. This week we say goodbye to our beloved Bonnie Gull Soho after three glorious years of oysters, grilled fish and many many laughs.” The restaurant’s Fitzrovia site will reopen next week after a refurbishment.

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