Hot Concepts—the back catalogue 2
Peach Report regularly highlights some of the newest, hottest and most interesting concepts out there in the market - with the suggestion that you and your team might like to go to see them for yourselves - including the new Hall & Woodhouse opening in Bath and the NOW by Ping Pong takeaway in London.
Hall & Woodhouse’s swing away from its provincial pubby heartlands towards a big city restaurant concept is brave, to say the least. But over its recent past the Dorset-based brewer and pub operator has prided itself on mixing tradition with ambition, and its new site in Bath, opened in June, provides a striking new flagship for the family-owned firm. See www.hall-woodhousebath.co.uk
Perhaps the hottest takeaway around at the moment is NOW from Ping Pong, the London-based dimsum chain. It has opened NOW, its new takeaway and delivery concept, on London’s Liverpool Street.
The first NOW by Ping Pong site will open from 7am to 9pm serving a cut-down quick-service menu inspired by Chinese street food, including freshly-made wonton, steamed baskets, sweet and savoury pastries, savoury rice pots and specially created “impulse buy” snacks. Target market will be younger business people on the move. Go and join the queue.
Also spicing up the food-on-the-move category are the plethora of burrito chains opening up, especially in London.
The US group Chipotle Mexican Grill has opened its first European restaurant in London at 114-116 Charing Cross Road. The company, which runs almost 1,000 stores in the States, says it is now looking for more London sites. "The food culture in Europe is based on local, sustainable and artisanal foods, which are all core values of Chipotle,"said chipotle’s founder, chairman and co-chief executive officer Steve Ells. You also have to see the website at www.chipotle.com
Compare the taste, style and service with the home-grown brands such as Tortilla and Chilango, both run by burrito enthusiasts who grew up Statesside. See www.tortilla.co.uk and www.chilango.co.uk
There's also Benito’s Hat which has just added a second site on New Row in London’s Covent Garden. The first Benito’s Hat opened on Goodge Street in 2008. If your out of London, go see Barburrito, which is spicing up the North West.
Supposedly more serious Mexican comes in the form of another US brand launching in London. Cantina Laredo has just opened its doors in the St Martin's Courtyard development on Upper St Martin's Lane.
Dishoom, billed as the capital's first Bombay café, has opened on Upper St Martin's Lane in London. The 140-cover site will open all day to serve breakfasts, lunches, snacks and suppers. It takes its inspiration from the Bombay café concept, once popular in the Indian city but now numbering only around 30.
Meanwhile, Yo! Sushi has unveiled a new look for the brand - more glam and authentically urban Japanese and with a cocktail bar - at its newest site in Market Place, just off Oxford Street in London. The new ideas, including new dishes, were gathered during an intensive day-and-night tour to Tokyo by CEO Robin Rowland and his yeam. Go see and also read Postcard from Tokyo
If you are in Manchester, Bay Restaurants has unveiled a new-look for its La Tasca brand, with its Deansgate branch being the first to be given a more contemporary look.
Union Market has also launched onto the London eating market with a concept billed as a crossover between supermarket food hall and farmers’ market.The new company claims its proposition is unique and will become a major new champion for British food. It is emphasising its environmental and ethical values with clear policies on issues and promises that its products will be as natural and traceable as possible. It is working with farmers and small producers to provide the bulk of its products. See www.unionmarket.co.uk and read Union Market to launch for west London foodies
Steak is still very much on the London menu, and a relative newcomer in the medium-rare market is the less formal Hawksmoor on Commercial Street in Shoreditch, run by the people behind the Underdog pub and bar consultancy group. A second site on Castle Street in Covent Garden, with a 120-cover restaurant and 50-seat bar will open in October. Underdog is also involved in a Mexican concept in Shoreditch, called Green & Red bar and cantina.