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Like many people in our industry, I’m constantly on the lookout for inspiration and something a little different. With London’s hospitality scene at the global forefront for the past few years, I’ve found myself visiting restaurants abroad and leaving a little disappointed as we’re doing it so well in the capital.

However, after a weekend in Tel Aviv, this city should definitely be high up on every chef and restaurateurs must visit list. Only a five-hour flight from London, this vibrant city by the sea – with winter sun – has some seriously funky restaurants and bars that combine great cooking and interiors. Not only that, the Israelis seem to know how to have fun when dining out. The powers that be in London should take a close look at how Tel Aviv operates safely as a 24-hour city – we could do with some of that in London.

Have a good week.


The Kitchens

Old Spitalfields Market has announced the ten operators who will open The Kitchens, at the centre of the revamped site. These are permanent, full restaurant kitchens and mark the first phase of a total refurbishment of the old market, which will eventually have more than 100 food and drink offerings. Big names in The Kitchens include Breddos Tacos (their Kingly Street branch only opened on Saturday), Berber & Q, Dumpling Shack, Brighton favourite Flank and a new idea from Brilliant Corners, called Thousand Knives. The Kitchens open on Friday.

Koya in the City

The Bloomberg Arcade food hub just gets better and better. Latest to join the line-up is Koya, as Shuko Oda and John Devitt add a City outpost to their Soho bar. There will be Japanese breakfasts from 7am (we’re intrigued by the English Breakfast Udon) and the famous chalkboard specials each day, with speedy lunches too, aimed at the office workers in the area. Diners will have to be as canny as the Soho crowd, though, because the 60-seater will not take reservations.

SRA Awards

The Sustainable Restaurant Association announced the winners
of its Food Made Good awards last Thursday. In the tradition of the big-tent mentality of the organisation (which recognises good standards in produce, sustainability and staff care), it was a varied bunch – from Copenhagen restaurant Bæst and bakery offshoot Mirabelle, which won best food business, to Pizza Hut getting the ‘Treat Staff Fairly’ award. Industry stalwarts John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby (of Leon and the School Food Plan) were named the Sustainability Heroes. CODE congratulates them and all the other winners.


Putting the crazy into crazy golf is Swingers, by opening a second branch of its street food/cocktails /sport combo in the old BHS building in Oxford Street. It’s a vast 20,000 sq ft site and it’ll be tricked out to look like a British seaside resort, complete with a souvenir shop, bar in a bandstand, beach huts and funfair-themed golf courses. Whether or not you bring a club, there will be a wide variety of street food vendors in those huts so it’ll be a welcome distraction from the heaving crowds on Oxford Circus.


The last time we saw ‘old’ and ‘paso’ together it was not very, er, appetising, but hopes are high for something quite different – new Italian restaurant Passo, on Old Street. Opening in November, it’s the latest venture from GoodLife Projects, the team behind Foley’s and Rum Kitchen, and with a Sicilian chef, too, in Massimiliano Iaquinoto. Passo will be open from 7am till midnight every day with a 40-cover, no reservations room complete with an open kitchen and pasta and pizza dough made on site every day.

Flour & Grape

…and in other pasta news (it’s non-stop these days), Bermondsey will see Flour & Grape open later this month. It’s a pared-down pasta-only menu from the head chef and GM of Antico, so expect good-quality Italian comfort food (itself comforting news for Bermondsey folk missing now-closed Antico). The grape comes in with a strong list of Italian-only wines but if you’re not in the market for a leisurely carb’n’booze lunch, there will also be a grab-and-go pasta bar.


Much-loved East Dulwich restaurant ToastED has closed and will reopen as a new Terroirs, an offshoot of the William IV Street wine bar. This is welcome news for fans of both, because the clever natural wine selection in the original will also appear in south east London, along with classic dishes such as charcuterie and steak tartare. Wine tastings and meet-the-maker suppers will also feature, as Lordship Lane continues its move upmarket.

Source: Eater London


Still on charcuterie, there’s a new place to enjoy the excellent British cured meats brand Cannon & Cannon, when its dining arm, Nape, pops up in the west end. Open from 1 November until 16 December on Brooks Mews, Nape Mayfair will offer not just their own meat platters, but also Paxton & Whitfield cheeses and Rocks seafood, from oyster expert Simon Lamont. We can imagine this being not just a welcome pit-stop for Christmas shoppers but, with a clever £20 a head feasting menu, a party hang-out too.

Marcus Rohlen

Jason Atherton rarely stops moving, it seems, and now he’s moving chefs around too. Two of the Social Group’s rising stars are taking on new positions: Marcus Rohlen (pictured) started his London career with Richard Corrigan, before moving to Pollen Street Social. He’s now confirmed as head chef at Social Wine and Tapas, taking over from Frankie van Loo… who after two years in charge on that site, is moving to become head chef at Hai Cenato. Atherton, who clearly believes in holding onto talent, says he is proud of the two chefs and is looking forward to their menu changes.

Henry Harris

Henry Harris confided in CODE some time ago that his plans stretched beyond reopening the Truscott Arms (you can read the full interview in the new CODE Quarterly). Now it’s been announced officially: the Harris stardust will also be sprinkled over pubs The Three Cranes in the city and The Coach and Horses in Clerkenwell as well. The Three Cranes is likely to reopen first, with a small, smart menu of grills, and a wine list concentrating on Bordeaux (the wines used to arrive by ship to Lower Thames Street, where the tavern is situated).


Restaurant Manager, Hoi Polloi

Hoi Polloi is recruiting a full-time Restaurant Manager.  We’re a big, modern all day brasserie. Experience managing a big room is key. We love no-fuss gold-plated service. You should love customers, love structure, love the party. The role will involve nurturing customers, the team, the revenue. You should enjoy working in a big multi-layered operation where many parts weave together to form the bigger picture.

Click here to read more and apply

Multiple Roles, Michael Nadra Primrose Hill & Chiswick

Michael Nadra is welcoming passionate individuals with a true love for the industry to work with him in Primrose Hill and Chiswick.

Roles available: Assistant Manager, Bar Staff (Primrose Hill), Waiters, Sous Chefs & Chef de Parties.

Click here to read more and apply


The London outpost of Hong Kong restaurant Serge et le Phoque gets the nod of approval from Fay Maschler

In her last review for The Guardian, Marina O’Loughlin visits The Quality Chop House and gives 9/10 for Shaun Searley’s cooking

Beyond the menu: the restaurants and bars taking on waste in London and beyond

Lights! Camera! Culinary school will teach Instagram skills

Technology or bust

Mon 9 Oct

Tue 10 Oct

Thu 12 Oct

Sat 14 Oct

Sun 15 Oct

There was no reason for Rihanna to stand under her umbrella last week. The singer was spotted dining high up in the sky at Hutong in the Shard. The Dumbwaiter hears that she ordered Crispy Ma La Eel – head chef Fei Wang's new dish – and the classic Peking duck.

The Dumbwaiter started off his Monday evening last week in the kitchens of Claridge’s. Fortunately for the guests of the Mayfair hotel he wasn’t cooking but instead raising a glass of Dom Perignon with executive chef Martyn Nail and food writer Meredith Erickson on the publication of the hotel’s first ever cookbook. Guests then ascended from the kitchens to enjoy a three-course dinner cooked by Nail and his team.

From Brook Street to Bahrain. Click here to read The Dumbwaiter’s best bites of the week.


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