All posts tagged restaurants

London Restaurant Festival 2012

london restaurant festivalLondon Restaurant Festival 2012 in partnership with American Express (1 – 15 October), now in its fourth year, announces that its first wave of tickets is on sale. The two-week celebration of the capital’s restaurants and food introduces original and exciting new events and confirms the return of festival favourites.

In keeping with their trend-setting reputation, LRF 2012 with a brand new concept ‘Graze’ (1 – 15 October). Exmouth Market; Bermondsey Street; Brixton Village; Marylebone High Street, Charlotte Street and Soho play host to this unique event offering holders of the Graze keyring an evening of restaurant hopping along these gastronomic hotspots.

With some of London’s most celebrated restaurants on board including Caravan, Moro, Bubbledogs, Jose, Copita, French & Grace and Trishna diners enjoy a complimentary glass of wine, beer or a cocktail with the purchase of a small plate or main course at each restaurant.

Simon Davis, Director and Co-Founder, of the London Restaurant Festival said: ‘We are thrilled to announce the first batch of tickets is now on sale for this year’s festival. We are fizzing about Graze – it’s a jolly simple idea but will be great fun for people who want to explore new places. Happily all the restaurants we have approached are really behind the idea too which is crucial. It’s restaurant –hopping and we will have six Graze streets during the festival. But Graze is just one of dozens of LRF events.”

LRF 2012 other new events include Kitchen Influentials, an exclusive event for American Express Cardmembers, which will bring together some of the country’s most renowned chefs with their protégés, family or friends for a one off lunch. The twenty chefs include Michel Roux, Bruno Loubet, Rowley Leigh and Mark Hix.

LRF 2012 will also see the return of many festival favourites including London’s original gastronomic road trip the Gourmet Odyssey, after a Laurent-Perrier reception, guests ride on an iconic red Routemaster bus across the capital and enjoy a course in three different restaurants. The Tapas Tour gives ticket holders the chance to experience traditional tapas crawls across the city. Eat Film is back at Firmdale Hotels with chefs and foodies screening a film that has inspired them before hosting a dinner. LRF launches London’s first GastroPub Quiz involving 100 pubs and the annual culinary discussion The Big Debate will be held at the The Tabernacle in Notting Hill with partners 5×15, the motion asks whether celebrity chefs and TV shows are ruining cooking. Fortnum & Mason will host Game On – a celebration of Game with visiting chefs and LRF’s first shoot where chefs will bag their own game for the pot. LRF 2012 will also be serving up a host of Side Orders (Fringe Events) and announcing many more exciting events later in the year.

Prices start at £10. For further information and to purchase tickets please visit

Devon Restaurant Month

devon restaurant monthDozens of restaurants from across Devon have signed up to a new initiative and will be holding special events to celebrate the county’s best food and drink throughout the month of June.

More than 30 businesses are taking part in Devon Restaurant Month and have organised a series of exclusive promotions and offers, as well as unique menus as part of the campaign. Each eatery has its own dedicated listing which can be found at

Food and drink fans will be able to enjoy a wide range of discounts off meals, cookery demonstrations, wine tasting sessions, steak nights, fish and seafood evenings, four course lunches, Italian and French themed events, suppers, dinners and fine dining experiences.

Some high-profile restaurants and chefs taking part include Bovey Castle, the Tanner Brothers, The Horn of Plenty, Southernhay House Exeter, Mill End Hotel and Restaurant, Gorton’s, The Cary Arms and Torquay’s Michelin-starred The Elephant.

‘Devon Restaurant Month’ has also received the support of the county’s tourism organisations Visit Devon, Visit South Devon and Discover Dartmouth, as well as Taste of the West and Food and Drink Devon.

Jeff Cooper, Devon Restaurant Month’s Founder and Organiser, says,

“The amount of interest that Devon Restaurant Month has received has been just fantastic – each restaurant taking part has pulled out all the stops to come up with some exciting and innovative ideas. It is great that everyone is so passionate about celebrating the best food and drink that Devon has to offer. Each event is unique and now we really want to encourage people to take the opportunity to see where their nearest event is, book their place and go along and get involved.”

A competition has also been organised where entrants are being offered the chance to write their own ‘Devon Restaurant Month’ menu which will be prepared by one of Devon’s top chefs and served in their restaurant throughout June.

The author of the winning entry, and three friends, will be guests of honour at the Elizabethan Inn, in Luton near Newton Abbot, on Friday 1 June to sample their own menu with specially selected wine to complement the food.

Entrants should visit the website and submit their contact details, starter, main course and dessert, along with a sentence or two explaining why judges should pick the menu.

It is hoped that ‘Devon Restaurant Month’ will help lead to an increase in custom for the businesses involved and raise awareness of the quality and breadth of the county’s award-winning food and drink offer.

For more information about ‘Devon Restaurant Month’ visit or the dedicated Facebook Page.

The New Blue Elephant To Receive A Very Special Blessing

Blue Elephant, London’s most iconic Thai restaurant – and soon to be cooking school – has now relocated to its stunning home on Imperial Wharf.

On Friday 11th May, the new Blue Elephant will welcome a very special group of visitors, when monks from the Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon, the first Thai Buddhist temple to be built in the UK, arrive to perform a beautiful traditional blessing ceremony.

The colourful and vivid occasion will provide a rare opportunity to witness a traditional Buddhist rite that encourages good fortune and prosperity for the new building and its inhabitants.

The monks will perform a blessing for the restaurant and the Suphannahong, the magnificent replica of the famous Royal Barge of Thailand which now takes pride of place in the restaurant’s Blue Bar. With its figurehead fashioned in the shape of a swan and intricately carved and gilded hull, it has been painstakingly carved out of a single trunk of teak by Thai master craftsmen.

The ceremony will start at 10am.

The new Blue Elephant has quickly found favour with customers and food critics alike. Of particular note has been the superb menu created by the renowned Thai chef Noroor Somany Steppe, the award-winning founder of the Blue Elephant group who has been regarded as the Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine since 1980.

The stand alone cookery school on the first floor is due to open later this year. Run along the same lines as Blue Elephant’s very successful schools in Bangkok and Phuket, this facility will offer students a fascinating introduction to the wonders of Thai cuisine.

Blue Elephant, The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf,
Townmead Road, London, SW6 2UB

Devon Restaurant Month – Celebrate Devon’s Best Restaurants

devon restaurant monthA new campaign aimed at supporting and celebrating some of the best restaurants in Devon is being launched, along with a dedicated month-long programme of events in June.

The ‘Devon Restaurant Month’ initiative, which will take place across the whole county, will encourage restaurateurs from Honiton to Okehampton and Kingsbridge to Barnstaple to join together to promote Devon as a food destination for both locals and visitors.

A dedicated website has been set up for restaurants, both large and small, to promote their own special events that are being organised as part of the scheme.

Some of the biggest culinary names and partner organisations in the county are backing the new initiative, including Masterchef of Great Britain Peter Gorton, as well as Taste of the West, Visit Devon, Visit South Devon, Discover Dartmouth and Food and Drink Devon.

Restaurants and eateries across Devon are being encouraged to join up to raise the profile of the campaign, which is planned to take place every year. They are being invited to host their own special event during June, whether it’s a themed menu, wine tasting event or one-off offer.

Jeff Cooper, founder of Devon Restaurant Month, says: “Devon has some of the very best restaurants, food and drink and talented chefs in the Westcountry and this campaign is about celebrating this and shouting about it. We are very lucky to have such excellence on our doorstep and I think it’s about everyone pulling together to promote ‘brand Devon’. It’s a great platform for as many restaurants as possible to get involved, tell people about what they are doing and in turn, raise the profile of their own business.”

It is hoped that by holding the event during June, a shoulder month between Easter and the summer holidays, that the initiative will help restaurants who may normally experience a quieter time compared to the peak season.

Peter Gorton, Masterchef of Great Britain and owner of Gorton’s Diners Club/Restaurant in Tavistock, says: “As someone who is passionate about cooking with and using high-quality, locally-produced food and drink, I am delighted to be supporting Devon Restaurant Month. Any initiative such as this is so important to increase Devon’s profile, champion its reputation and keep the county an attractive destination for people to come and enjoy.”

John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West, adds: “Devon should be considered a food destination to rival the best in the world. In our 2011 Awards there were more winning establishments from Devon than from any other county. Devon Restaurant Month is a fantastic way to promote these businesses.”

Rosie Bates, General Manager of Visit Devon, says: “It is fantastic that this campaign represents so many well-renowned restaurants and places to eat in Devon. There are many benefits of working together with one united voice to showcase and promote the best that we have in the county.

Nigel Way, Chairman of Visit South Devon, commented: “Our unique location means we are able to source quality produce from the land and the sea. South Devon is full of award-winning food businesses that are a major part of our economy. We are proud to be part of this creative and exciting way of communicating that.”

All the events will be included on the dedicated website, as well as published in the May/June edition of ‘Taste Buds’ magazine. They will also benefit from banner adverts on all partner organisation websites, which jointly attract more than 100,000 visitors every month. Restaurants taking part will be provided with their own point-of-sale marketing materials including leaflets for pay points or to be given with bills.

New Tastes For Winter At Wagamama

The nights may be drawing in and the weather taking a turn for the worse, but wagamama has winter well and truly wrapped up with its delicious new menu.

By popular demand, two of wagamama’s sizzling summer specials are staying on for an extra season! Try some tebasaki, tender chicken wings glazed with our special wagamama barbeque sauce, or treat yourself to a tasty teriyaki chicken donburi with its juicy teriyaki-glazed chicken and sticky white rice, thinly sliced carrots, pea shoots, spring onions, coupled with a side of spicy kimchee.

Making its debut this winter is the japanese cherry cheesecake, a sweet treat with a taste of the east! This luscious cream cheesecake with its brown sugar cookie crumble base is topped with sweet and sour Japanese cherries. For a smooth, low fat alternative to ice cream, look no further than three new probiotic, all-natural frozen yoghurts. Choose from chocolate, tropical passion fruit and super-tangy lemongrass.

Toast the onset of the party season with six fabulous new wagamama cocktails! The harajuku is a heavenly blend of vodka, honey and thai basil mixed with pineapple juice, and the hinotama’s mix of plum wine, sake, bitters and ginger beer is garnished with a chilli for a fiery kick to banish the winter blues. Add some seasonal sparkle with the wagamama bellini, prosecco with a pan-asian twist of plum wine and a dash of bitters. If you’re after something a little more mellow, wagamama’s new range of aromatic herbal teas makes for the perfect winter warmer – choose from mint, flowering jasmine and white vanilla and grapefruit.

An ever-popular wagamama side dish, the gyoza gets a new look for winter. Asparagus and shiitake mushroom gyoza are served with a lemon and cracked black pepper sauce, making these delightful dumplings the perfect partner to your main meal.

Slurp up a spoonful of our pork dumpling soup for a true taste sensation! This warming pork, coriander and lemongrass broth is filled with a mouth-watering mix of sweet and spicy char sui roast pork dumplings, bean shoots, wok-fried leeks, tea boiled egg, sichuan spicy sausage, baby spring onions and garlic chives.

The spicy garlic beef, ginger and basil donburi is an appetising way to raise the heat levels on a wintery day! Packed with pan-asian flavours, it’s served with fragrant rice, mixed baby plum tomatoes, sweet red peppers, egg, chillis and spring onions tossed with an aromatic sweet and spicy sauce and kimchee.

Wash it all down with a glass of our new fresh juice, the orange beet down is a fruity combination of orange, apple, beetroot and pomegranate.

You can eat in or take-out, indulge yourself or get together with your mates this winter at wagamama!

For a personal review please see Sampling Wagamamas on SpittoonExtra.