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November 2008 Archive

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If you've visited Mumbai, you may know the seafood restaurant, Trishna. Now a location has landed in a small site in Marylebone and is championing the likes of Koliwada shrimp in lime zest and green chilli salt. Meat eaters aren't neglected with dishes like salt marsh lamb chop and neck in a black peppercorn and poppy seed masala. The chef, Ravi Deulkar, comes from Rasoi Vineet Bhatia in Chelsea and has spent the last few months along the Indian coast. Lunch & Dinner daily. Trishna, 15-17 Blandford St., London W1, 020-7935 5624.
The new restaurant Avista replaces the former Brian Turner restaurant in the Millennium Hotel London Mayfair in Grosvenor Square. A new broom in the shape of David d'Almada (of La Petite Maison, Zafferano and L'Oranger fame) has brought an exposed red brick wall, marble flooring, an antipasti bar of polished granite and taupe leather seating. The chef, Michele Granziera, worked at Zafferano with Andy Needham and is producing regional Italian with a distinctly modern twist. Try the crab, papaya and avocado salad with lemon and basil sorbet. Traditionalists might go for slow-cooked pork cheek with mashed potato and spinach and a red wine sauce. The wine list offers mostly Italian selections. Restaurant: Lunch & Dinner daily; Bar: daily noon-10.30pm. Avista, Millennium Hotel London Mayfair, 39 Grosvenor Sq., London W1, 020-7596 3399.
Just as the City seems to be drowning in credit crunch gloom, new restaurants are popping up all over the place. The latest to open, Cinnamon Kitchen, comes from The Cinnamon Club in Westminster and should, if there is justice in this world, prove to be a success. It's in the smart Devonshire Square development near Liverpool Street station and is divided up into a bar, Anise, where you can down spice-infused cocktails and try a few sharing plates, and a separate restaurant area. The talented Vivek Singh moves from the Club to the Kitchen to offer a new menu, based around the kind of innovative approach to classic dishes that we expect. Lunch & Dinner daily. Cinnamon Kitchen, 9 Devonshire Sq., London SW1, 020-762 6500.
The elegant Mint Leaf in the Haymarket has now opened in the City as Mint Leaf Lounge. It looks somewhat similar---all dark wood and sexy lighting and has the same modern take on classic Indian food. Cocktails are, of course, to die for. Mint Leaf Lounge, 12 Angel Court, London EC2, 020-7600 0992.
Manicomio, the smart Italian restaurant-cum-deli in fashionable Duke of York Square in the heart of Chelsea, has now moved east to the City, opening in Gutter Lane and, you suspect, feeding the partners of the ladies who lunch with their small children in the Chelsea branch. The City destination is more cutting-edge, however. Designed by Sir Norman Foster, it's inevitably all glass and steel. There's a casual café and deli and a smart first-floor restaurant.
Alan Yau, who gave us Wagamama, busaba eathai, Yauatcha, Hakkasan and latterly Cha Cha Moon, has teamed up with Milanese baker Rocco Princi to open an upmarket bakery-cum-deli in Soho called Princi. Sip a glass of Prosecco and nibble on a sandwich, or just go for a coffee and pastry in this smart new venue. Princi, 135 Wardour St., London W1, 020-7478 8888.
The Irish chef Richard Corrigan has done himself proud with Lindsay House and Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill. Now he's about to open Corrigan's in Mayfair. The smart restaurant will have a 20-seat private dining room, which given the paucity of private dining between places that cater for a dozen and those that go the banqueting route, is clever. Also expect a ten-seat chef's table and a good bar for the oysters. Corrigan's, 28 Upper Grosvenor St., London W1, no phone available yet.
Bumpkin When Bumpkin opened in Notting Hill it was an instant success, so the opening of a second branch at 102 Brompton Rd. comes as no surprise. The country style retreats even further here; the décor is smart and more urban deli than rural. British food and pies particularly rule the roost; Sunday roasts should bring out the families and there's an outside terrace for summer dining. Bumpkin, 102 Brompton Rd., London SW7, 020-7341 0802.

News Bytes

Forty-Plus Places for Food (Under One Roof)
Westfield London is the biggest inner city shopping centre to open in Europe. Costing £1.7bn, it's the place to shop until you drop...into one of the many good restaurants and eateries that have opened there. Check out The Balcony, dedicated to restaurants, for healthy salads made to measure at Tossed (; a quick risotto made to a special technique at Ooze Risotteria (; top Lebanese offerings from Comptoir Libanais, created by the owner of Levant; and the duck burger and foie gras from the Croque Gascon, the brainchild of Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon. As you can see, this is serious stuff, not fast food as it is generally known. And that's before you get to the quaintly named Village, which is the area for designer shops and Searcys 1847 Champagne Bar, or on the approach road to the shopping centre from the underground, The Meat & Wine Co's splendid steakhouse ( Gourmets are also well catered for at outlets like Mary Chocolatier, the Brussels chocolate shop that supplies the Belgian royal family with its truffles and pralines. Westfield London, Ariel Way, London W12, 020-3371 2300.
Second Venue for Ristorante Semplice
If you've got it, reproduce it seems to be the mantra among London's restaurants these days. Bar Trattoria Semplice in Mayfair is just a few paces away from its sister restaurant, Ristorante Semplice. It aims to offer value for money in a menu that offers no great surprises, just good classic dishes like traditional soup with borlotti beans and pasta, baked lasagna and spatchcock baby chicken with spinach and roast potatoes. There's a sharing table for up to ten for the convivial, an all-Italian wine list and a friendly atmosphere. Trattoria: Lunch & Dinner daily; Bar: daily noon-midnight. Bar Trattoria Semplice, 22-23 Woodstock St., London W1, 020-7491 8638.
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