Cartel, a new taqueria and late-night tequila bar in Battersea, is the latest in the new wave of Mexican taco joints that is sweeping across London. Named in what seems a clear reference to the Mexican narco wars involving drug cartels that have cost 100,000 lives in the past 10 years, the venue must also be an early front-runner in the “poor taste […]

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⦿ The Observer’s Jay Rayner reviewed Chop Chop in Edinburgh, which confirmed his view that dumplings are the ultimate comfort food – “While you are eating dumplings nothing bad can happen.” Opened in 2006 by Jian Wang, from Dongbei in northeast China, Chop Chop excels in its dumplings, although its other dishes were more variable […]

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                  Nieves Barragan, head chef at London’s all-conquering Barrafina tapas bars, is leaving the group where she has run the kitchens since the first Barrafina opened in Soho. Group general manager José Etura (pictured) is also leaving to work with her on a new project. Barragan joined the […]

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⦿ Jay Rayner of The Observer visited 108 Garage off Portobello Road in Notting Hill, where he said “dribblingly positive reviews, of which this is another, have stacked up”  – despite the lack of pre-opening publicity. “There is a touch of the Italian to the menu here, but also a touch of a bunch of other things besides. What […]

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The taco’s rise to prominence in London continues, with Club Mexicana moving permanently into the Haggerston cocktail bar Pamela on January 17. Club Mexicana founder Meriel Armitage has pioneered a vegan take on taco classics, testing the market as a street-food vendor with Kerb and Street Feast. Two of the best-reviewed London restaurant openings in […]

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⦿ In The Observer, Jay Rayner reviewed Aquavit, the St James’s offshoot of an “award-garlanded” Swedish restaurant in New York – “And, oh boy, check out that swagger.” It turned out to be “a proper Nordic noir thriller but for all the wrong reasons… It’s altogether more Trump Tower than Wallander. Everything is shiny and golden […]

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Sam and Eddie Hart, the brothers behind the soaring Barrafina group, opened their latest venture this week, the Mexican-inspired El Pastor taqueria near Borough Market. “Al pastor“, or shepherd-style, is where the taco meets the kebab – a Mexico City staple with its origins in the Arab shawarma. Sam Hart acquired a taste for the style while […]

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On the former site of the Hart brothers’ basement tapas joint Fino, comes a new Uzbek restaurant backed by international restaurateur Sanjar Nabiev and industry consultant Charles Oak (whose credits include Pied à Terre, Gleneagles and many more). The new Fitzrovia venue, Samarkand, is named after Uzbekistan’s city on the Silk Road – the ancient […]

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