If you're a fan of Le Pain Quotidien, then you'll be delighted to hear that the very clever founder, the Belgian Luc van Oostende, is back with Café Luc. This time the concept is more upmarket, a modern brasserie just like Café Theatre, his Ghent-based restaurant in the Royal Opera. Classic leather brasserie banquettes and lots of mirrors make a glamorous décor. It's open from breakfast through to evening, with a French-based menu full of traditional bistro dishes (steak tartare) and the odd foray into international waters (steamed sea bass with mango, papaya and quinoa salad). It's not cheap, but it is in Marylebone. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Cafe Luc, 50 Marylebone High St., London W1, 020-7258 9878.
Another branch of Goodman is slated to open in August, this one in the City of London where bankers and carnivores prowl. The restaurant has its own aging room for the topnotch range of cuts offered. Russian-owned, the vodka is recommended along with a good wine list. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Fri. Goodman, 11 Old Jewry St., London EC2, 020-7499 3776.
Giant Robot might be a slightly daft name, but the force behind this new restaurant, Jonathan Downey, created the restaurant The East Rooms which was a remarkable success; it suffered a disastrous fire last March and closed down. Undaunted, he closed his Match EC1 premises and transformed it into Giant Robot, an all-day Italian-American restaurant, deli, café and cocktail bar. The décor is retro 1950s; the cocktails are terrific and the menu includes classics like meatballs in tomato sauce, notable salads and crostini. Also look for flaming baked Alaska---it's alive and well and living in this Clerkenwell restaurant. Mon.-Wed. 10am-midnight, Thurs.-Sat. 10am-2am, Sun. to 10am-10pm. Giant Robot, 45 Clerkenwell Rd., London EC1, 020-7065 6810.
A new casual Japanese restaurant, Sushi Ga Ga, has just invaded traditional Chinatown territory with its Lisle Street location. The venue is classic and minimal with a casual sushi counter and traditional tatami seating. Try the seafood which is cooked from fresh and sustainable sources. Sun.-Wed. noon-11pm, Thurs.-Sat. noon-11.30pm. Sushi Ga Ga, 16 Lisle St., London WC2, 020-7287 6606.
Just by Liverpool Station (handy for City office workers but also anyone visiting Spitalfields or going for a walk around the East End or Clerkenwell), NOW offers take-away street food from southern China. Street food is all the rage in London right now, so stock up with a picnic of Chinese rice milk porridge topped with blackberry (breakfast), or more likely go for steamed dumplings in baskets, chicken won ton soup and salads. It's the brainchild of the Ping Pong restaurant chain. Chinese beers are available as are traditional teas as well as iced teas like melon and lime bubble. It's very reasonably priced and stylishly decorated with limited seating if you want to eat on the spot. Mon.-Fri. 7am-9pm, Sat.-Sun. 9am-6pm. NOW, 22/23 Liverpool St., London EC2, 020-7042 9191 .
Pop Along for a Pop-up ExperienceChef Shuffle
A trend currently taking London by storm is the temporary pop-up restaurant. One that is currently open only on Fridays, weather permitting, is Elliot's Pop-Up in the Pavilion Café, from the team who are planning Elliot's Borough Market restaurant which should be opening this October. It's a chance for the head chef, Isaac McHale, to cook and all of the punters to have a very good time. Dinner begins between 6pm and 7pm with a drink before sitting down at a communal outdoor table. The menu is comprised of thoroughly modern British dishes like grilled mackerel with pickled cucumbers and mustard. It costs £50 per person for five courses and five glasses of wine. But hurry; it only lasts for the summer. Fridays from 6pm. Elliot's Pop-Up in the Pavilion Café, Corner of Old Ford & Grove Roads, Victoria Park, London E9, 020-8980 0030; 07590 032 070.
Check back soon for more news.
Check back soon for more news.
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