Tag: restaurant

It’s not often we head to Vauxhall in search of the hottest new food spot, but when repeated friends insisted we take the trip, we went to Counter under the Vauxhall arches to see what the fuss was about.

Nestled literally under the train arches (opposite Sainsbury’s for those not familiar with the area), is Counter, the all-day bar and brasserie serving a mix of French and American dishes.

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It’s London’s longest restaurant (remember this for future pub quiz knowledge), and decked out in antique mirrors and glamourous art deco-style lighting and as soon as you’re inside it all feels a bit more a trendy neighbourhood in New York rather than, errr, Vauxhaull.

Now down to the food, it's open every day so whether it's morning brunch with the papers, lunch with friends (there's a £10 two-course option with wine), dinner after work or cocktails, it’s there.

There’s a large menu and although it wasn’t the most adventurous we’d seen, everything we had was well-put together with deliciously combined flavours.

From tortillas stuffed with creamy avocado cut with a tangy yuzu vinaigrette and cold smoked melt-in-your-mouth pigeon to classics such as French onion soup, pate and caeser salad. Not forgetting the indulgently-wonderful deep fried mac and cheese balls which we’re still having dreams about.

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There’s a good-sized menu to choose your main meal from, from classic American dishes of burgers and fried chicken to delicately put together fish dishes of sea bream and halibut.

The fish we had was simple yet beautifully presented with flavours that complimented each other expertly while the burger was akin to those you might find at the likes of Meat Liquor or any of the other London favourites with dedicated fans. And both come with a range of fresh, colourful sides – the sprouting broccoli with bacon was our favourite.

When it comes to the sweet options, we weren’t disappointed with twists on the classics to please even the fussiest diners. Think perfect French pastries blended with indulgent-American desserts and you’re about there.

So, a blood orange tart with rhubarb topped with popping candy or Banoffee banana bread with dulche de leche popcorn – have you ever heard such a inviting phrase?!

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It feels like somewhere which would fit in more comfortably in central London but that’s why we love it because of the way it’s landed with a style which will hopefully encourage others like it to come to the party.

No longer is Vauxhall just a grimy hub for passing through on the way to a nicer neighbourhood, Counter has successfully planted it on the map as a place to visit.

GÜ Dessert Island (1)For the very first time in the UK, a restaurant which caters to solo diners and casts guests away to a decadent desert island of their choice will open its doors on Wednesday 20th May.

Dessert Island, brought to you by the pudding purveyors at Gü, offers busy Brits the chance to enjoy that ever-elusive, but all-important ‘me time’ and steal a moment or two to themselves as they are cast away to their own secluded retreat. 

The innovative and unique dining experience, which will use giant concave LED screens to display footage of desirable destinations, will immerse diners in the sights, sounds and smells of their chosen private paradise – from the rustic charm of the Auckland islands to the picturesque white sands of the Caribbean.

Dessert Island will be popping up in London for a limited time to celebrate the launch of the new range of elegant single glass ramekins from Gü, available in six of its most popular variants.

There are a limited number of bookings available so to be in with a chance of dining at the UK’s first “me time” restaurant, register your interest by emailing dessertisland@gupuds.com.

 

WHEN: 20th May – 21st May

WHERE: 15 Bateman Street, London

NEAREST TUBE: Piccadilly Circus

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Despite being a nation of food lovers, it seems that us Londoners are suffering from Repetitive Restaurant Disorder when it comes to dining out, with a huge 98 per cent of us likely to regularly return to the same restaurant time and time again even though we have more restaurants opening up each week than our stomaches can keep up with!

Whilst in the midst of a restaurant boom that’s seen more than 147 eateries open their doors in the capital last year[1], a recent survey commissioned by same-day restaurant reservation app Uncover, reveals that 19 per cent of us have as little as two restaurants in our repertoire and a staggering half a million of us eat at the same restaurant every time we go out.

It seems this reluctance has been born from the challenges diners face when trying to book a table at a new eatery, with 64 per cent of restaurant goers saying the reason they stick to their favourite is because they always get a table, or are worried that they will have to wait if they go elsewhere. Most tellingly perhaps, more than 150,000 of us stick to the same restaurant simply because we fancy the sexy waiting staff.

It appears women like to spice things as they’re less likely than men to visit the same restaurant when they dine out, while men are twice as likely to eat out more than three times a week when compared to their female counterparts.

Christopher Steinau, Founder at Uncover said, “It’s easy to understand why so many people visit the same restaurant every time they eat out, there’s just so much on offer it can sometimes be overwhelming. If people want to discover the latest restaurant or find out what else is out there, they need to make a concerted effort to be spontaneous and explore new things.”

David Saenz, Founder at Uncover added, “At the same time there are so many amazing restaurants in London with new additions almost every day. It’s a pity to miss out on them and always stick to the same. Uncover is a tool that not only helps users make same day reservations at London’s top restaurants, but also helps people find new and exciting places to eat out. We curate a shortlist of only the best restaurants in the local area, meaning the app works as a discovery platform as well as a booking tool, helping people find new and exciting restaurants to explore.”

Uncover is a new app that allows restaurant goers to discover and book London’s hottest restaurants at the last minute, from Michelin starred eateries like Umu, Yauatcha, Kitchen Table and le Gavroche to the latest trendy hangouts such as Coya, Le Chalet, Ramusake, Hutong and Lyle’s or hidden neighbourhood gems like Opso, In Parma and the Green Room.

Uncover is now available for iPhone on the App store. The Android version is in development and will be released early 2015

About Uncover

Uncover is a new free app that provides London restaurant goers with a seamless solution to discover and book some of London’s best restaurants at the last minute by taking the stress and pain out of the booking process.

The app curates short lists of top restaurants based on user location, preferences, selected discovery themes, and only shows restaurants that have tables available on the same day. With Michelin starred restaurants, trendy eateries and neighbourhood favourites on its roster, Uncover has more than 150 restaurant partners to date with more being added every day.  

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Finding somewhere in Soho which doesn’t cripple your budget or leave you hankering after a MacDonald’s on the way home is a life-long mission of mine and Vapiano on Wardour Street achieves exactly this feat, moving it onto my recommended places for when you next find yourself in the area.

It's the fourth branch in London of the German chain which is a kind of modern take on fast food. You choose your food, go up to a long counter and order it and then wait (or watch) it be prepared and cooked right in front of you.

The difference is that the food is also pretty decent. It’s nothing too fancy but it is comforting, delicious, inventive and extremely reasonable.

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The restaurant serves Italian food but i's more exciting than your usual pizza pasta with fresh, colourful ingredients used in well-presented and tasty dishes.

Another excellent benefit if you’re going in a group – each diner is given a card which their order is added to, saving the inevitable annoying end-to-all-group-meals when working out the bill (to that person who always leaves us short we know who you are and we hate you).

All-in-all Vapiano is an easy, laid-back venue for fast food with a difference – it’s delicious, inventive, and cheap, something to shout loudly about.

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This November, Deluxe opens, a limited-edition restaurant in Ely’s Yard in Spitalfields, E1 for lunch and evening meals. 

Deluxe is a ‘non-restaurant’ restaurant open for four weeks only from 14 November – 14 December, and will offer a delicious menu that diners can easily create in their own homes when Deluxe closes its doors.

Michelin-starred chef Kevin Love has previously worked as Head Chef at the celebrated Hinds Head in Bray, where he developed a passion for traditional British dishes. Coupled with the experience he gained in fine dining restaurants, high end caterers and years spent in the Catalonian region of Spain and Europe’s Pyrenees mountains, he brings a wealth of culinary knowledge and creative flair to Deluxe.

Love commented:

"It's always a treat to eat out but, as a chef, I am passionate about eating great tasting food all the time. I want to show people how easy it is to create restaurant quality dishes at home without breaking the bank.”

Highlights from the menu include smoked reindeer with pickled blackberries and tagliatelle with lobster and truffle oil. New dishes will appear on the menu every week, as voted by visitors across the restaurant’s social media channels.

Doors will open to the public on Friday, 14 November.  Guests will be invited to indulge in and explore an innovative menu offering a contemporary take on high quality British and European cuisine. In addition to the sumptuous dishes available, guests will also receive a recipe keepsake and a night of reveals. Deluxe will also host regular Tuesday wine tastings showcasing a selection of the restaurant's high quality wine menu.