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Sometimes you need a change of scene to see things from another perspective…

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited up to Northcote Manor in Lancashire to the opening night of their Obsession series, now in its 18th year. Chef patrons Nigel Haworth and Lisa Allen invited Jason Atherton and his Pollen Street Social team into their kitchen for the collaboration dinner.

That night I was sitting next to two young chefs from Gary Usher’s restaurant group who were prepping for their dinner the following night. Over dishes of raw Orkney scallop and Cartmel Valley fallow deer twinned with a mighty 2004 Rioja, we discussed the importance of kitchen stages and just how much these two Manchester-based chefs enjoyed coming to London for a week and learning from kitchens such as Lyle’s and The Clove Club.

From eating familiar food in a new setting to working with a different team but in a way you recognise - our industry is a community that recognises the importance of sharing and collaborating. Something to be proud of.

Have a good week.


The Gunmakers

It’s a very contradictory opening, and making guns is about the only thing not on offer at a newly revamped pub The Gunmakers, in Clerkenwell. As well as a bar and restaurant, a DJ space and a leafy garden, there will be a hairdressers in the attic of the 19th century building called the Gun Club, which will have its own bar. It’s the idea of drinks agency Sweet & Chilli (previously behind Nine Lives); the pub will serve Asian inspired dishes.

Evelyn's Table

Ever since The Blue Posts reopened as part of the Palomar stable, CODE has been looking forward to hearing more about its basement dining space. As of midday today, bookings are open for the intimate 11-seater kitchen bar Evelyn’s Table - which will serve modern European food direct to diners at a marble counter from the chefs, led by Nacho Pinilla. The seats are bookable; meanwhile two tables will be held back for walk-ins.

Rök Soho

The Scandinavian-influenced restaurant Rök is to open a third branch this summer, heading to central London. Joining Islington and Shoreditch, Rök Soho sees co-founders Charles Bakker, Frida Lindmark and Matt Young take the menu in a slightly different direction. While Rök is known for smoked meats, the Soho branch will focus on vegetable-centric dishes, with fermentation and cultured dairy produce also on the menu. The expansion means that the Rök residency at the new Kitchens destination in Spitalfields market has now closed.


Perhaps it’s not surprising that Ikoyi is changing its menu, with such a dynamic young team at the helm. The St James's Market restaurant has been highly praised by the critics, but chef Jeremy Chan is already brimming with new ideas. The west African theme will continue, but with seafood at its heart, and all manner of unusual ingredients used, as Chan says, to “push boundaries”. So, for instance, their famed jollof rice will now be served with smoked crab custard.

The Spread Eagle

It’s an indication of just how far things have changed in the last few years - a fully vegan pub has opened in Homerton. The Spread Eagle’s publican Luke McLoughlin has joined forces with Club Mexicana’s founder Meriel Armitage, with the idea of a modern take on the ‘classic east end boozer’ - expect 16 vegan beers and dishes such as ingredient-of-the-moment jackfruit  in the form of carnitas.

Le Bab

We’ll forgive the pun when the idea is a good one - Le Bab is launching a ‘Great British Bab Off’. Founders Stephen Tozer and Ed Brunet of the Soho kebab restaurant have challenged chefs from Pitt Cue, El Pastor, Ikoyi (busy, those guys) and Yosma to a competition against their head chef Manu Canales Garces - to see who can make London’s best kebab (the Le Bab entry features lamb’s tongue, we hear). The event, priced £45, takes place on 11 February and proceeds to go Action Against Hunger.


It’s been a hectic time for chef restaurateur Victor Garvey, with his newest restaurant Rambla getting universal rave reviews. He’s expanding fast with another Soho site in the works, so has announced that his Covent Garden restaurant Encant, has closed. Together with head chef Krisztian Palinzkas (one of CODE’s 30 under 30 talents) and team, Garvey is focusing on Rambla and Sibarita, and all staff have been redeployed. Garvey says “I feel we’ve taken [Encant] as far as we can”.

Galvin Bistrot de Luxe

And in other closure news, the announcement that the Galvin brothers are closing Bistrot de Luxe was greeted with wide dismay. The Baker Street institution will have its last service on 10 February, having served its classic French cuisine to countless diners over 12 years. But the Galvin brothers, who describe themselves as “restless”, are by no means standing still. In addition to their existing restaurants, they have new plans for The Athanaeum, a Green Man gastropub and an ‘urban restaurant’, HOP, in Spitalfields.

Georgina Laing and Sanja Moll

A flurry of changes at the Salt Yard Group look to be completed with the news that Georgina Laing and Sanja Moll are taking full control, as MD and executive chair. The pair have purchased Alcuin Capital Partners’ shares in an amicable deal; the group now has four restaurants - Salt Yard, Dehesa, Ember Yard and Opera Tavern - following the recent closure of Veneta.

Kerry O'Connor

Kerry O’Connor, most recently at The Grove hotel, has a new job from next Monday - she has been appointed Director of Food & Beverages for Hotel Café Royal. 2018 will be a busy year for the hotel, which will undergo refurbishment and the opening of a new restaurant in spring. O’Connor, who also counts Selfridges, Carluccio’s and the Mondrian Sea Containers hotel in her experience, will oversee the launch of the replacement to The Ten Room.


Evening Supervisor, Spiritland


Spiritland is a bar that serves fantastic food and drinks for music lovers in King’s Cross. Built around a world-class sound system – a unique creation playing original, in-depth musical programming day and night, seven days a week.

We are looking for an Evening Supervisor to run service, coach and develop the team and uphold our high levels of service.

The ideal candidate should be adaptable and professional. They must have a fun and dynamic personality.

Click here to read more and apply

Front of House Management, Brigadiers

Brigadiers, an exciting new concept by JKS Restaurants, is seeking ambitious individuals to join their Front of House Management team.

Opening in Spring 2018, Brigadiers will capture the conviviality of an Indian Army mess tavern. The menu will be centred around classic Indian barbeque dishes, with an impressive drinks list comprising over 30 different beers and a vast whisky selection. 

We welcome applications for all senior roles, so apply now to join this unique opening by the multi-award-winning JKS Restaurants.

Click here to read more and apply


"Let's hope it never changes." Jay Rayner reviews L'Escargot

Tim Hayward falls for Parsons in Covent Garden


A classic revisited: The India Club

Paul Bocuse, celebrated French chef, dies at 91

Thurs 25 Jan

Fri 26 Jan

Sun 28 Jan

The Dumbwaiter hears that Tom Sellers was spotted tucking into a cheeky Nandos at the Southwark branch last week. We thought it would make a good Story.

The Beckhams were in Paris last week to attend the Louis Vuitton fashion show and dined at one of their favourite restaurants in the French capital, Chez L’Ami Louis. Foie gras and snails were served, then it was back to the Ritz where they were staying.

While Nigel Haworth was road-testing his new kitchen shoes - made by Michelin - on Thursday night at Northcote Manor, Jason Atherton was in his usual get-up of Thom Sweeney slacks and George Cleverley brown brogues. You can take the chef out of Mayfair…

When you’re one of the most famous faces in the world, where do you choose to celebrate your 44th birthday? Kate Moss hosted a birthday lunch at her pal Richard Caring’s Mark’s Club in Mayfair last week.

From Lambeth to Lancashire. Click here to read The Dumbwaiter’s best bites of the week.

Fera at Claridge's

Sunday - Thursday | 25% off total bill

GinTonica at The Distillery

Sunday - Thursday | 25% off total bill

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