Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Great London Food Frenzy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Great London Food Frenzy

Article excerpt

Byline: says Victoria Stewart

[bar] OST of us arrived back at work planning to make September a saving month. But for some of London's top chefs, barmen and restaurant owners, this week was ready, steady, party time. A feast of new bars and restaurants opened, new menus were created and preview dinners for upcoming eateries held. With no fewer than 16 parties on September 12, it became Super Wednesday.

In just over a fortnight, the London Restaurant Festival begins. "This was conceived in -- to some extent in response to -- the recession of 2008," maintains its chair, the Standard's restaurant critic Fay Maschler. "Now London finds itself in an arguably deeper financial cleft, yet the opening of new restaurants accelerates giddily."

However, these are not places where people must pay through the nose to get in. "There has been a blossoming of what once might have been critically described as fast food ... ratcheted up to a level where the provenance of ingredients and the imagination deployed in the preparation can compete with conventional establishments. And fun is high on the agenda," she adds.

This week's food explosion began on Monday, when The Berkeley Hotel hosted a book launch for chef Pierre Koffmann and a new banqueting spot, The Perkin Reveller, opened next to the Tower of London. This was followed on Tuesday by a bash marking the 10th anniversary of Locanda Locatelli.

On Super Wednesday there were canapes at Camden's new Simply Fish restaurant, and on Curtain Road in Shoreditch journalists were given hard hats and high-vis jackets for a preview tour of the upcoming Beard to Tail restaurant. Angela Harnett created special plates for 120 at the Whitechapel Gallery, and celebrities filled the booths at the opening of Mexican cocktail and food joint Death by Burrito.

Christie Singam, owner of Simply Fish, says there is a huge market for all this spending. …

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