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In the last week the news broke that Deliveroo intends to focus on 'dark kitchens' and that JKS's Motu delivery offshoot is expanding.

In fact, over the past few years we've seen the rise of virtual restaurants popping up across London. These non-customer-facing shipping containers dotted around the capital's neighbourhoods are catering to the needs of hungry Londoners who want decent food from their favourite restaurants delivered to them.

While there's something rather appealing about having top restaurant-quality food from the comfort of your sofa, I'm in two minds about whether in the long term this is going to do any favours to conventional restaurants. Surely it impacts upon how often customers are going to dine out and I still struggle to see how you can control quality and customer experience once the food has left your front door.

Have a good week.


Harry's Dolci

Knightsbridge is the location for a new restaurant from Caprice Holdings which despite the name, is not just for puddings (although we bet the tiramisu, panna cotta and gelato cannoli will be top notch). Situated on Basil Street, Harry’s Dolci is a spin-off from Harry’s Bar in Mayfair, itself based on the Venice original – and will be open all day from breakfast, with a menu of Italian classics, all served in a 1950s-inspired interior. Harry's Dolci is due to open on 6 December. 

Cinnamon Kitchen

Vivek Singh has a habit of opening restaurants in historic buildings, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the next ‘Cinnamon’ outpost will be in Battersea Power Station. Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea is due to open in late November, offering brunch, lunch and dinner with a suitably industrial décor and terrace seats overlooking the Thames. Residents of the area will be especially pleased that the bar will be at the heart of the operation, as well as food and drink deliveries for those times the brutalist chic of the power station is too much.


Another opening on the river is Yen, a spin-off from the Parisian Japanese restaurant. What makes this November arrival noteworthy is the promise of soba noodles made freshly twice every day, in view of diners. Expect a menu that goes beyond slippery noodles to include sushi and tempura in an elegant maple wood and softly lit setting. Yen will be within the brand-new 190 Strand development, hoping to catch the office workers and tourists that flow through south of Covent Garden.

Bib Gourmands

CODE is a fan of the Bib Gourmand category from the Michelin organisation – recognition for informal restaurants is vital in today’s scene. So we extend our congratulations to London operators who scored 10 of the 27 new Bibs in Great Britain and Ireland. They are Kiln, Smokestak, Plaquemine Lock, Kricket, Popolo, The Frog, Cinnamon Bazaar, Madame D, Westerns Laundry and Clipstone. The main Michelin announcements are today from 11.30am.


London doesn’t have dabbawalas (can you imagine the scenes at Oxford Circus), but a new restaurant in the west end borrows the name and style of the men who deliver meals across Mumbai via trains. It’s the latest idea from Samyukta Nair and Rohit Ghai of Jamavar, and as well as a creative menu from across India, there will be the famed dabbas on offer – tiered metal tiffin tins with curries, bread and rice inside. The décor will make nods to railway stations and its Maddox Street address will make it an appealing pit-stop for west end shoppers and workers.

Hawkes Cidery

Step aside craft beer, move along biodynamic wines, here comes London’s latest drink trend, an urban cidery. Simon Wright, owner of the Urban Orchard and Hawkes alcoholic ginger beer brands, has been quietly working on a venue just off Maltby Street Market; keen drinkers can take a tour of the cidery, host parties - and there will be a taproom to try the craft and experimental ciders in production.

Tom Brown

Chefs move around, but not all do with such a ringing endorsement as the one expressed by Nathan Outlaw for Tom Brown, who is leaving The Capital to set up his own restaurant. Brown’s mentor describes him as “an amazing and extraordinarily talented chef with passion and enthusiasm… I wish him well”. Brown became known after his appearances on Great British Menu and has big plans for a site in Hackney Wick, to open early in 2018.

Simon Gregory

More news from Bluebird, hot on the heels of a Manhattan outpost and an expansion into White City. D&D has appointed Simon Gregory as executive chef at the Chelsea ‘mothership’ with a brief to launch a new food offering. Gregory was previously at the Gordon Ramsay Group and then the Ace Hotel. There’s not so much ‘hoi polloi’ in Chelsea, of course, so we will be interested to see the new menus.


Multiple roles (front of house and kitchen), HIX Restaurants

HIX is looking for bright and passionate individuals front and back of house to work in a fast paced, vibrant and dynamic environment. Each restaurant has its own unique style and character offering an assured but relaxed style of front-of-house service.

HIX Restaurants use only responsibly produced, carefully sourced and simply served British seasonal ingredients with menus built around the long-established, personal relationships that Mark Hix has with his suppliers.

Click here to read more and apply

Senior Account Manager, 84 PR

84 is a small PR agency with a strong client portfolio of chefs, restaurants, and quality brands. They work flexibly, and independently, getting to know their clients personally in order to achieve high-class PR campaigns. They are looking for an experienced team member, with a genuine love of the UK restaurant industry, a creative mind for pitching and a level-headed approach to management. You should be adept at looking after industry personalities and have good working relationships with relevant journalists.

Click here to read more and apply


Tom Parker Bowles gets a lesson in West African food at Ikoyi

Now with Rowley Leigh at the helm, Parabola at the Design Museum gets 4 stars from David Sexton

The UK's 50 best Sunday lunches

The vineyards pairing fine wines with modern art

Mon 2 Oct

Weds 4 Oct

Thurs 5 Oct

Fri 6 Oct

Sun 8 Oct

There's nothing funny about a restaurant suffering a burglary, but when the victim recounts it with a chuckle, The Dumbwaiter is intrigued. Scott Collins was informed that the King Cross branch of MEATLiquor had been broken into but he didn't expect to see a lengthy CCTV movie of the intruders partying and drinking the bar dry. Footage is with the police; whether they've caught the woman doing press-ups and a dance routine is, as yet, unknown.

As we live in the age of social media, The Dumbwaiter rather enjoyed Giles Coren’s Insta stories while he was dining at The Frog by Adam Handling last Tuesday evening (and the subsequent quite meta unpacking of it by web commentators). Despite Coren going off on one of his Basil Fawlty-esque tirades about a man on a laptop at the next door table – who turned out to be Handling – the Times restaurant critic apparently enjoyed his meal. No manhandling was reported.

The Dumbwaiter has seen many incarnations of burgers on his travels but he’s never seen a patty in a blue bun. Till now, that is. Colette in Paris has teamed up with restaurant Blend to create a burger to commemorate the trendy shop on Rue Saint-Honoré closing in December. And in true Colette style, the buns have been dyed to the shop’s exact colour; Pantone 293C. Sacré bleu.

From Copenhagen to the City. Click here to read The Dumbwaiter’s best bites of the week.

Jar Kitchen

Tuesday - Saturday | 30% off total bill

Fox Bar

Sunday - Tuesday| 50% off drinks

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