Test Drives

Test drive

Jeremy Lee conquers Soho - test driving Quo Vadis

What can you tell me about Quo Vadis?

TV and film folk, media luvvies, foodies of all shapes and sizes all congregate here - Quo Vadis is a venerable canteen for Soho's movers and shakers that's been a restaurant since 1926 and was the former home of Karl Marx. Between 1996 and 2007 it was co-owned by Marco Pierre White and Damian Hirst, and then by White alone before ending up in hands of Sam an…

Read more: Jeremy Lee conquers Soho - test driving Quo Vadis

Chicken lollipops and bun kebabs - Roti Chai in Mayfair

What can you tell me about Roti Chai?

It's an Indian restaurant nestled in the heart of Mayfair - but with a difference. Roti Chai's main speciality, and one you'll see as you enter the brightly lit first floor, is of Indian Street food. So the restaurant is split into two - the upstairs mainly focuses on the street food aspect, but the downstairs is a more traditional Indian restaurant. We decide…

Read more: Chicken lollipops and bun kebabs - Roti Chai in Mayfair

Test driving the revamped Tom Aikens in Chelsea

Splitting opinion in the food community like a oyster, Tom Aikens' Chelsea restaurant has recently opened with a brand new facelift. Hot Dinners went along to check out whether this particular comeback kid could really pull it off.

What can you tell us about Tom Aikens?

Having been closed since summer for a makeover that included both decor and the approach of the kitchen, Tom Aikens has a lot to…

Read more: Test driving the revamped Tom Aikens in Chelsea

Test driving Dabbous in Fitzrovia

What can you tell me about Dabbous?

The restaurant is named after its chef, Ollie Dabbous, who was Head Chef at Texture and began his career with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir au Quat Saisons (who has been a big supporter of this new restaurant). He's also spent time working at the Fat Duck, Noma and NYC's WD-50. This is his first solo venture and has been hotly touted as one of the key openings of…

Read more: Test driving Dabbous in Fitzrovia

Sushi with a little Moscow pizazz - we check out Novikov in Mayfair

What's Novikov all about?

It's the first restaurant outside Russia for Moscow's biggest restaurateur Arkady Novikov.

Where is it?

On Berkeley Street - opposite Nobu Berkeley, it takes over much of the corner spanning three floors. The ground floor is the Asian restaurant on the corner of Berkeley and Mayfair Place, then there's an Italian restaurant down and towards the back and a massive&nb…

Read more: Sushi with a little Moscow pizazz - we check out Novikov in Mayfair

Club dining - test driving Kitchen Joel Antunes at the Embassy Mayfair

What can you tell us about Kitchen Joel Antunes?

In the 90’s one of the most popular dining destinations in London had to be Les Saveurs in Mayfair. Run by the impressively trained chef Joel Antunes, Les Saveurs couldn’t seem to get a bad review if it tried. After an extended trip to the US where he launched the highly acclaimed Joel in Atlanta, Antunes returned to the UK in 2010 to set up Brasse…

Read more: Club dining - test driving Kitchen Joel Antunes at the Embassy Mayfair

The wheels come off - we check out Pitt Cue Co in Soho

What can you tell us about Pitt Cue Co?

The brainchild of Tom Adams and Jamie Berger, it sees the BBQ trailer folk who created a storm under the Hungerford Bridge last summer, transferring to bricks and mortar accommodation just off Carnaby St.

Where is it?

On the corner of Newburgh St and Ganton St.

Who’s it suitable for?

Carnivores in all shapes and forms, this is somewhere you’ll love if you d…

Read more: The wheels come off - we check out Pitt Cue Co in Soho

Recreating history: the Escoffier menu at the Savoy

Ever since it reopened its doors after 36 months and £220 million of refurbishment, the Savoy has been busy pushing its future, whilst never losing sight of its heritage. The American bar, for example. has been sensitively given a gentle push into the 21st century but still retaining all of its original allure.

Hot Dinners popped in just before Christmas to try out the River Restaurant where a new…

Read more: Recreating history: the Escoffier menu at the Savoy

Goodman branches out - we check out Burger & Lobster

What can you tell us about Burger & Lobster?

It's a new venture from the people behind Goodman steakhouses - and does exactly what it says on the tin, serving up simply burgers and lobsters (alongside some cocktails from Soulshakers). The aim is to make lobster more affordable to Londoners, and they've achieved that partly by installing a mammoth lobster tank in the basement - being able to st…

Read more: Goodman branches out - we check out Burger & Lobster

Russell Norman's

What can you tell us about Mishkin's?

It's the latest in Russell Norman's slowly burgeoning Soho/Covent Garden empire, following in the footsteps of Polpo, Polpetto, Da Polpo and Spuntino. While it retains many of the features of its predecessors (counter dining, sharing plates, and a bare-brick Lower Manhattan vibe), this time the restaurant is taking NYC's Jewish delis as hits key point of refer…

Read more: Russell Norman's "sort of" Jewish deli - we check out Mishkin's

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