London Food And Drink News: 19 December 2013

Brindisa Christmas Pop-up In Brixton

Spanish deli and restaurant group Brindisa will be opening a bar-come-shop in railway arches on Atlantic Road early next year, and they’re giving us a sneak preview this weekend with a festive pop-up. Open from Friday until Sunday, the shop will sell ingredients including Iberico ham, chorizo, olive oil, aged Manchego and other cheeses, and high quality tinned fish for foodie gifts. Full details and opening hours are here.
Real Food Festival Christmas Market

Starting Thursday and running until Sunday, the Real Food Festival’s biggest event of the year has returned to the Southbank. The usual market that takes place behind Royal Festival Hall of a weekend is being joined by all manner of Christmassy food and gift stalls and it will run right through until 8pm each night (6pm on Sunday). Mulled wine and cider are on hand to keep cockles warm and spirits high.
American Invasion

London is gaining two more slices of the states. Acclaimed New York chef Brad McDonald has taken over the kitchen at Lockhart near Marble Arch and is implementing a “deep south” menu for January, while Avenue restaurant in St James’s will also re-launch with a new look and an American-inspired menu next year. Clam chowder served in sourdough, American beef steaks and doughnuts will all feature, along with a hefty bourbon list.
Love It Or Hate It

Indian chef Vivek Singh has launched a Marmite menu at his restaurant Cinnamon Soho. Included on the menu is prawn with a Marmite glaze, chilli and peanut-crusted chicken breast with Marmite korma sauce, and a Marmite and cardamom chocolate mousse with caramelised bananas. We’re not sure whether there is any sponsorship from the famous yeast extract brand, or if the chef is just a fan, but you can try the menu for yourself until the end of February for £35, details are on the restaurant’s website.
New Openings This Week

It’s an international affair for Soho this week, with new openings including Parisian bistro Blanchette, which is brought to us by three French brothers and backed by the Salt Yard Group (who are behind recent opening Ember Yard). House of Ho opened its doors (on soft launch with 50% off food until 6 January), with New Zealand chef Bobby Chinn who has two successful restaurants in Vietnam in charge of proceedings; it offers traditional Vietnamese food with modern twists as well as kooky cocktails. Near Leicester Square, Pakistan restaurant group Salt N Pepper have opened their first overseas restaurant, serving traditional Pakistani cuisine.

Out of Soho, things have got a bit meatier for the area around King’s Cross. Honest Burgers, which started out in Brixton Village, opened their fifth site on Pentonville Road this week, while down in Exmouth Market pork-themed restaurant Blackfoot opened last Friday. Coming from the team behind healthy fast-food chain Leon, the menu celebrates all things porcine with charcuterie, belly, pulled pork, ribs, chorizo and bacon all featuring.

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