Joel Antunes – is there a name more evocative of the London restaurant scene of the 1990s? In those far off times where there were many fewer good restaurants about than there are today, his Saveurs establishment in Mayfair (where Mamounia is now) really was quite a place.
When we tracked Antunes last November, he was relaunching the Oak Room restaurant at the newly slimmed-down Plaza Hotel – star of so many movies – by Central Park.
Well, that particular stay at the Plaza perhaps wasn’t the greatest success (“there were let-downs huge and many”, said the NY Times review), but now he’s popping up again at another Plaza, the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. The mega-hotel – very nearly the largest in the capital – is scheduled to open early next year.
Antunes’s duties will be on a suitably grandiose scale, and he will be “responsible for the hotel’s 200-seat signature restaurant, 30-seat sushi restaurant, premium coffee shop, lounge, bar and signature pastry counter”.
Not a plan, it would seem, that can be criticised for a want of ambition!