You have to feel for football fanatics out there. Last week’s 2014 World Cup football draw was not particularly favourable for England fans, and a fair few other countries for that matter. But the timely arrival of two new sport-themed venues in London will be sure to cheer up soccer fans.
A 140-seater restaurant called Cafe Football has just opened on The Street at Westfield Stratford City and the team who put it all in motion are none other than Manchester United Premier League football stars Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. All of the dishes on the menu – such as a traditional ‘Pot Noodle’ with a twist – will reference football in some way thanks to the sharp skills of executive chef Brendad Fyldes in collaboration with two Michelin star chef Michael Wignall.
Riley’s Sport Bar
Sport fans will be salivating about paying a visit to the new Riley’s Sport Bar on central London’s Haymarket which impressively features 34 screens, four projectors, and the largest sports screen in London. Want more stats? Of course you do! There’s 70 sports channels, seven pool tables, four bars, three ping pong tables and a whole lot of fun.
For those sports-averse people who’d rather leave the live action to their loved ones, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is only a few minutes’ stroll from Riley’s up Haymarket towards the West End. Until 8 January 2014, visitors can marvel at Carl Warner’s foodscape artwork exhibition, which includes iconic London attractions such as St Paul’s Cathedral, The London Eye and Tower Bridge made entirely from fruit and vegetables. Warner’s “Crockerville” (pictured above) – a festive Christmas village constructed from 2,000 cookies – is also part of the exhibit.
In Soho’s thriving Berwick Street, the opening of Ember Yard is exciting foodies across the capital. This is the fourth London restaurant from the Salt Yard Group, who have so far delighted us with Opera Tavern, Salt Yard and Dehesa. As with the previous ventures, the menu will focus on Spanish and Italian cuisine, but here it will be cooked over charcoal. Many of the menu’s ingredients will be smoked on-site and flavours will be created using different types of wood.
Located in the same theatre district as Salt Yard Group’s Opera Tavern is the new cosy bàraco, Augustus Harris, where lovers of Italian wine and food can either people-watch from the copper bar area on the ground floor or head for relative solitude in the basement restaurant. Ideal for a pre-theatre meal.
Not all new bars and restaurants worth visiting are exclusive to central London, and east London is represented this week by Wright Brothers’ “sea-to-plate” dining experience, now on offer in Old Spitalfields Market, following the success of its sister restaurant in Borough Market. A big draw at this well regarded seafood wholesaler will be the seawater tanks at the centre of the restaurant, containing some 1,400 live crab, lobster and oysters.
Representing the best of the new launch venues in west London this week is another story of success for BrewDog. What began as a humble brewery in Scotland only a handful of years ago has since grown into 13 UK-wide bars, three of which reside here in London. BrewDog bar is for the serious beer fans, with a range of 40 draught beers, 20 of which are guest, to be enjoyed in various sizes. It’s also only stumbling distance from Westfield London shopping mall, although we recommend getting the Christmas shopping out of the way before you visit the bar.
More London Bar and Restaurant News
London’s first Korean anju restaurant On The Bab has opened in Old Street. Watch out for the Somaek, the Korean cousin of the Jägerbomb.
If you yearn for Korean alcohol, Holborn’s Kimchee restaurant has just launched its basement Kimchee Bar where Soju, Hakushu, Baekseju and Umeshu are all served alongside Korean beers.
Steam & Rye is a new one-stop destination venue from London entrepreneur Nick House (Mahiki, Whisky Mist and Bodo Schloss) and British model Kelly Brook. With a nod to the glamour and decadence of the Great Gatsby era, the restaurant serves up steaks and BBQ ribs. Its cocktail bar is headed up by one of the UK’s top bartenders Andy Mil.
Chef Mark Hix branches out into the City of London again with Hixter, a new restaurant in Liverpool Street which takes the same simple approach to menu choices as its sister restaurant, Tramshed, offering only chicken and steak.
The Brasilian barbecue trendy continues to gather pace ahead of the World Cup and the Olympics with the arrival of new restaurant Cabana which has just opened up on Angel’s Upper Street.
New Fitzrovia restaurant Boopshi’s serves authentic Austrian schnitzels (although they are made with organic British rose veal). Worth noting: Prosecco is on tap and the restaurant has its own amber ale brewed by the local Camden Town Brewery.