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Issue 11 Summer 2017

Quarterly The eyes & ears of the hospitality industry Brunch | Annabel’s | Tommi’s Burger Joint | Staff briefing | South Tyrol

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Contents 5.

What’s hot. What’s not.


Restaurant gossip


Cash is no longer king


Breakfast or lunch: just not brunch


Taking Annabel’s into the 21st century


Let’s get fizzical


Eat. Drink. Design.


There’s something about Tommi


The briefing


The art of staying alive


The Tyrolean way


Instagram spotlight


24 hours in Berlin


Last orders

Editor Adam Hyman

Advertising Director Catherine Taylor

Head office CODE Hospitality 6th Floor Greener House 66-68 Haymarket London SW1Y 4RF Tel: +44 207 104 2007 @CODEhospitality @codehospitality CODE Quarterly (Online) ISSN 2398-9726

CODE Quarterly is published four times a year by Nexus CODE Limited, 6th Floor, Greener House, 66-68 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RF. Registered no. 07950029 England and Wales. Printed by DataComuniqué, The Loft, 68 Crescent Lane, London, SW4 9PU -3-

Issue 11 | Summer 2017 |

Creative Director James Wood

Contributors Callum Edge Chloë Hamilton Sam Jewel Matt Paice Marcus Samuelsson Emyr Thomas Mikey Williams Zeren Wilson James Wood

What’s hot.

Symbolising hospitality As I always do when choosing the front cover of this magazine, I run the ideas and images I have past a few trusted people whose opinions I value. Each one commented on how funky the pineapple looked but strangely none of them - even when I hinted - knew that this fruit is the symbol of hospitality. It dates back to the days of early American colonies when the sea captains returned home with pineapples and would leave them outside their homes to let friends know they had returned home safely. It was also seen as an invitation to come in for food and drink. The pineapple may be the symbol of hospitality but I think it would be remiss of me not to mention the brave, courageous and selfless people who were working in the restaurants and bars in Borough Market on that awful evening. They put their lives at risk to look after people at a time of need – these people are the real, physical symbol of hospitality. The first half of 2017 has been challenging for the hospitality industry. The ongoing issues of rising costs, the weak British pound, the uncertainty of Brexit and terrorism has made trading tricky for operators. Judging by the tone of many restaurateurs that I have been speaking to, any expansion plans will be put on hold for a while and it will be a renewed focus on keeping their current restaurants operating efficiently and performing to the best of their ability. However, we still remain busy at CODE HQ. We continue to curate the CODE app to allow hospitality folk to dine at some of the best restaurants in London and across the UK, and we are constantly working on new ideas including special lifestyle offers and dinners for app subscribers. If you didn’t manage to make it to the dinners we did at Picture Marylebone or Palatino, we’ll be hosting more soon at other restaurants. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been working with restaurants who want to give their team access to the app – a great staff perk – so we’ve started to offer special bulk app subscriptions for restaurants and hotels. If you’d like to find out more, please drop me or Catherine Taylor ( a note. With my consultancy hat on, I’m delighted to let you know that not only have we successfully assisted in the fundraise for Santo Remedio to open their new restaurant in London but we have also become investors in and advisors to Sub Cult, the award-winning street food operator, who are doing an 18-month pop up in Whitecross Place in the City. This is issue 11 of the Quarterly and I hope to be able to bring you some exciting news about the autumn issue - both in terms of a redesign and the appointment of an editor. This current issue sees Chloë Hamilton interview Tommi Tómasson of Tommi’s Burger Joint (p. 26), as well as looking at how restaurants are surviving amongst the constant swell of new openings (p. 34). Our good friend Zeren Wilson makes his feelings very clear about the new wave of tonic waters found in London’s restaurants and bars (p. 19) and Callum Edge returns to give us his view on the current phenomenon that is brunch (p. 13). I put on my hard hat and Hi-Vis jacket to take a tour around the new Annabel’s (p. 16) and James Wood sits down with Dan Doherty to discuss the importance of branding for Duck & Waffle Local (p. 23). Our roving reporters Emyr Thomas and Mikey Williams inform us on the latest places to stay in South Tyrol (p. 38) and what to do when visiting Berlin for 24 hours (p. 41). And fresh from opening Red Rooster in Shoreditch, Marcus Samuelsson rustles us up something tasty for Last Orders (p. 42). Thank you for your support and as ever, questions and comments can be sent to me at:

Espresso and tonic The latest coffee trend. Get your hit at Lyle’s in Shoreditch.

Bespoke scents London’s restaurants have never smelt so good. Sniff away at Isabel and the new Annabel’s.

Table for one The cutest spot for one at XU in Soho makes solo dining even more appealing.

Live music It’s all about the live music in restaurants right now. As seen at The Ned, Red Rooster and Zédel.

What’s not. Cookbooks We’ve reached peak cookbooks – who hasn’t published one?

Brexit Seriously fucking with the hospitality industry.

Adam Hyman Founder, CODE @AdamMHyman

Unkept loos No loo paper, messy environs, no mirrors, bad lighting – don’t take the piss. -5-

Issue 11 | Summer 2017 |

Al fresco in the city Hot, sweaty, dirty, noisy. We’ll take a well air-conditioned dining room over al fresco any day.

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A healthy brekkie

Falcao’s, from £7.99 for 450g from


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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which is why this new breakfast cereal called Falcao’s caught our eye. It’s 100% organic, glutenfree and high in fibre. Made from buckwheat, linseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and amaranth, it makes a great addition to your morning bowl of porridge or bircher muesli. Definitely one for your larder.

Restaurant gossip CODE’s Chloë Hamilton takes a look at the latest goings on from the world of hospitality.

London Japan Centre

40 years after opening London’s favourite Japanese food hall, Tak Tokumine will be launching a flagship site for the Japan Centre. The new Panton Street site will have a 100-seat dine-in courtyard surrounded by open kitchens, along with the main food hall stocking everything from homewares to hand-pulled udon. There will also be three unique rooms: one dedicated to sake, another to niche miso products and a third for speciality teas by the gram. Japan Centre

Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden

This summer sees family affair Petersham Nurseries land in the beating heart of the West End. The Richmond institution is taking over a prime spot in Covent Garden housing a deli, wine cellar, home and garden shop and a florist. There’s also room for two restaurants, the first of which is an Italian all-day affair serving cicchetti and aperitivo. The second, The Petersham, is closer to the original restaurant’s roots with a refined à la carte menu.

Clare Smyth

Gordon Ramsay protégés Jason Atherton, Angela Hartnett, and Marcus Waring are tough acts to follow when it comes to flying the nest and setting up independent ventures. So the upcoming launch of Clare Smyth’s first restaurant, Core, comes with big expectations. During her ten years at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Smyth became the first British female to oversee a three Michelin-starred kitchen. Her 60-cover Notting Hill site, which shares a history with Prue Leith’s first restaurant, is due to open in July.

Clare Smyth

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From Hackney to Heddon street, restaurateurs James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy are following the success of their Michelin-starred Pidgin with a new opening in Zone 1 this summer. The duo have described the offering as a modern British version of dim sum, with trays of cocktails and trollies of hot and cold plates circulating the dining room – an idea Herlihy picked up on a trip to San Francisco and something both acknowledge is “kind of wacky”. Sam Herlihy & James Ramsden


Rest of the UK Wreckfish

After launching the UK’s biggest ever restaurant Kickstarter, Gary Usher’s #Wreckfishmaybe is #Wreckfishdefinitely. Usher ran a passionate Twitter campaign hitting the £200,000 target two days ahead of schedule and drumming up support from more than 1,500 backers. Industry heavyweights Dan Doherty, Angela Harnett and Tom Kerridge were among those to proffer their services for pledges. The new site will be in Liverpool and joins the restaurateur’s line up of Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle and Hispi.

Gary Usher

The Raymond Blanc Gardening School

This summer Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is opening their garden gate to the public with the launch of The Raymond Blanc Gardening School. Head gardener and Le Manoir veteran, Anne Marie Owens, will be imparting 30 years of green-fingered wisdom in classes ranging from micro herbs and edible flowers to the myths of pruning. With 11 world class gardens and orchards, there’s no shortage of teaching materials on the Oxfordshire estate.

Dan Cox

Dan Cox, previously executive chef at Fera and before that head chef at Roux at Parliament Square, has escaped the city in favour of a more bucolic enterprise in Cornwall. Taking over the 120-acre Crocadon Farm in St Mellion, Cox plans to grow organic produce and rear livestock for a restaurant that will open on the site later this year. The venture is in partnership with Sean O’Neill of Cornwall’s Good Earth Growers network.

Raymond Blanc

The Raby Hunt

James Close


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After winning a second Michelin star last autumn, James Close of The Raby Hunt would be forgiven for resting on his laurels. Instead he cut opening hours to give staff more time off and embarked upon a £400,000 renovation project to build a new development kitchen and a glass wall to let diners watch Close and his team at work. Just two weeks after reopening The Raby Hunt came in at number 25 at the National Restaurant Awards, cementing its rise to the top.

Rest of the World Adrià brothers, NYC

It was over a Skype call, just a day before the announcement, that Albert and Ferran Adrià decided to sign up to José André’s New York food hall project in the Hudson Yards development. With eight Michelin stars between them, the three chefs have envisaged a Spanish version of Eataly which will include a tapas bar, retail shop, wine bar and wood-fired restaurant. The project will be developed on Spanish soil and is due to debut in its Manhattan home in autumn 2018.

Hudson Yards

Barr, Copenhagen

After keeping the news under wraps for 18 months, Jutlandic chef Thorsten Schmidt has announced a partnership agreement with René Redzepi to take over noma’s iconic waterfront site in Copenhagen. The new restaurant, Barr, takes its inspiration from countries surrounding the North Sea and despite a simpler looking menu than its predecessor, dishes are likely to show signs of Schmidt’s 10 years working alongside Redzepi.

Le Big Mac

As the popularity of le hamburger in France threatens to eclipse the nation’s love affair with steak frites, McDonald’s is looking to edge its way into the premium market by offering customers a plastic knife and fork when ordering the “signature” gourmet burger. The move comes alongside the introduction of table service – available in around 80% of McDonald’s outlets in France – and seeks to fend off competition from the likes of newly arrived Five Guys.

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Jason Atherton has announced plans to add to his Social Company portfolio with the opening of a second Sosharu site, this time in Shanghai. The Japanese gastropub will be part of the Edition hotel and will open next Easter under the headship of Alex Craciun. Despite plans for two or three other openings in the near future, Atherton has cited the turbulent climate of Brexit as a reason to be cautious. “I think [the hospitality industry] has to batten down the hatches” said the chef, speaking at the Restaurant Congress in June. Jason Atherton


Cash is no longer king Restaurateur Matt Paice explains why he’s gone cashless in his west London restaurant.


First there are the nuts-and-bolts benefits of not handling cash in the restaurant. It reduces the risk of theft, either by outsiders or by dishonest employees. It reduces the time spent on money management: there’s no cashing up, no float to top up, no trips to the bank.

Second, on a broader commercial level it speeds up transactions, which is vital to a casual dining operation like mine

back your change. At Killer Tomato, we can run through the bill verbally and take a contactless payment there

“...there’s no cashing up, no float to top up, no trips to the bank. ” where typical dwell time is 35 minutes. The US fancy salad chain Sweetgreen estimates transaction times to be 1015% faster at its 64 cashless sites. In a conventional restaurant, the waiter might make four trips to your table during the payment process, from being asked for the bill to bringing -11-

and then. A customer who wants to pay is a customer who isn’t going to generate any more revenue for us that day by sitting on that table. But it’s really the benefits to our hospitality offering that I want to emphasise about going cashless.

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his spring, New York restaurateur Danny Meyer opened his new grab-andgo café Daily Provisions and one aspect piqued my interest: it’s cashless. Five days before opening Killer Tomato last August, I somewhat impulsively decided to go cashless. It’s not a decision I’ve regretted even for a moment. I’ll explain the everyday benefits below, but writing here in the pages of CODE Quarterly, I also want to emphasise the benefits of being cashless in how we deliver hospitality.

As a customer, once you have decided to get the bill, your time in a restaurant is dead time. Nobody in the history of dining has ever said “I had a great experience but they sorted the bill out too quickly.” By reducing the number of times the customer has to attract our attention, we are making their stay with us a more pleasurable one. This goes double for groups. We have many tables who are a mixture of couples and singles and for whom splitting the bill could be a source of anguish. Going cashless allows us to

But the biggest benefit of going cashless is how it matters to the team. Every front of house person I’ve employed has horror stories of reconciling floats late into the night, or being punished by management when there’s a discrepancy in the cash takings, sometimes even seeing their tips withheld. By contrast, when we close, we clean down, switch off the iPads and walk out the door. Anything that reduces the amount of dull sidework for the team, and reduces the areas of potential friction with management, is to be embraced.

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“But the biggest benefit of going cashless is how it matters to the team.” run every payment directly through the iPads table-side, and because we assign every dish and drink to a seat number, we can personalise the bill to every diner in a matter of seconds, with our EPOS system Lightspeed doing all the maths. We even have to intervene sometimes when a member of the party gets out their phone calculator to begin that soul-sapping reconciliation process “who had the second glass of wine?” and the relief is palpable.

Of course the counterpoint is the burning question: how much trade do we lose by refusing to take cash? Our experience has been that it’s vanishingly small. We operate in residential Shepherd’s Bush, so your mileage may vary, but we’ve found there are only two groups whose custom we lose. First, tourists who have decided to take their entire holiday money out as a cash lump sum. I estimate we lose one table every four to six weeks like this. Second, people who get paid in cash (cab drivers, I’m looking at you) -12-

and who come in on their own for a quick bite or takeaway; we get one of these maybe every two weeks. Given that we are saving dozens of hours in staff time per month in not handling cash, this is a trade-off I’m happy to live with. There has been no backlash from customers about the policy; far more often the reaction is delight: “that’s good, I only have a card!”, “how sensible!”, “thank god it’s not the other way round – I hate that!” We’re due to open a second site in west London later this year and I expect to see a lot more tourist trade there. Maybe I’ll have cause to revisit the policy. But for now I’m an evangelist about going cashless and I’d love for more CODE readers to give it a try.

Matt Paice @Matt_Paice Matt Paice is the owner of Killer Tomato restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush.


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Breakfast or lunch: just not brunch


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t’s a Sunday affair. It’s a family affair. It’s the groaning banquet table of fat prawns, smoked salmon, oysters, lemon halves in natty white jackets, an array of cold cuts, rare roast beef, honey roast ham, eggs Florentine and Benedict. It’s sugary viennoiseries and chocolate pots, puffy croissants, pancakes with syrup, waffles with syrup. It’s

picky eaters; the faux-intolerant. It’s for those who think ordering an avocado is some sort of pinnacle of achievement. Well if your #goal was to fuel illegal deforestation and environmental degradation, then kudos to you. It’s that same riff over and over on a Full English or gauchely sweet-and-salt. It’s sriracha ejaculate. It’s yet more bloody eggs. If

“It’s a mediocre hotel buffet on Spring Break.” conveyor-belt toast. It’s both from a buffet and from a menu. It’s steaming black coffee – never tea – and juice. Fresh juice, with bits. It’s Champagne, a straightener. It’s self-service. It’s service in natty white jackets. It’s white linen and large white plates. It’s warm conversation, a come-down, a debrief, a week-end in an airy, highceilinged room. It’s an incoherent piano. It’s going back for seconds. Maybe thirds. It’s humbly greedy. It’s greedily humble.

Brunch is for the social dieters; the

Brunch is where good waiters go to lose their patience; it’s an early start after the night before; it’s less tips; it’s no tips; it’s larder leftovers; it’s allday; it’s a hospitality nightmare. It’s for children and couples; hen-dos and dates; parents and grandparents; the elderly; the hungover. It’s for those who can afford to play credit card roulette and lose. It’s for those who can’t do mental arithmetic. It’s for those who won’t pay their fair share. It’s for those who want to split the bill nine ways. It’s where good waiters go to hate their jobs. It’s a mediocre hotel buffet on Spring Break. It’s what would happen if millennials were charged with catering for the UN. It’s organised on Facebook. It’s hastily planned: it’s eight of us, no wait ten, -15-

But God forbid those who just want a normal meal on a Saturday afternoon. What’s happened to the menu, you ask. This is the menu, the waiter says. Where’s all that nice stuff you do Monday to Friday? I’ll have some of that. Ah, the weekday menu. You should have come then. But I’m working then, which is why I’m here now. Well, now we do a weekend brunch. Anyway the chef ’s off. It’s what the customers wanted – it’s the will of the people. It’s bottomless. But I don’t want eggs, you say. I don’t want my drink poured from a collective jug. I don’t want to lose my table after an hour and a bit, you scream. I just want breakfast. Or lunch. Not the arse end of both. So you end up sipping on brackish Prosecco and ordering scrambled eggs royale on toast snowed under a random on-trend ingredient (za’atar? Nori?! TURMERIC?!) for £17 at 2.30pm in Peckham, waiting for a dish someone with even the culinary nous of Gregg Wallace could blindly assemble at home for pennies. And how would you like your eggs, the waiter asks. Soft scrambled? Hard scrambled? Strong and stable? For brunch is like Brexit. It’s Brollocks.

Callum Edge @edgeandspoon

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Now it starts in a queue. No – it starts in a press release that invariably shouts “HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS IN THE MORNING?” A press release that promises an eggstatic afternoon of crapping all over various food cultures from a height. Korean mimosas? Mexican omelettes? It’s cultural appropriation via eggsand-bacon. It’s morphed from a oncein-a-lifetime-is-just-fine experience to an oh-we-must-do-this-everyweekend one. It’s a Tory-lite meal that “works for everyone”; an anodyne, fifty shades of beige, illusion of choice for the unimaginative weekender.

it’s BYO, it’s corner-shop pop. If it’s not, it’s unlimited pisswater. “But it’s bottomless,” bleat the economically illiterate; those who hold the belief that some sort of deal is to be made wherever cheap alcohol flows; those who inexplicably wear their best garb to get drunk before midday; those who need a DJ to drown out the cacophony of dull conversation that wafts around the room like a bad fart.

only seven now, plus one, oh sorry I can’t make it any more.

Taking Annabel’s into the 21st century CODE’s Adam Hyman takes a sneak peek at the new Annabel’s that opens in Berkeley Square later this year. The latest project by Richard Caring takes private members’ clubs to a new level.


Issue 11 | Summer 2017 |

rivate members’ clubs are a funny creation. On the one hand, a genius business model for the operator. A member has to pay a yearly fee to essentially gain access but still has to pay for all the food and drink they consume. On the other, an unnecessary luxury one might argue. But walk around Mayfair and there are easily ten or so members’ only establishments all bustling throughout the day and night, and all with long waiting lists. These clubs don’t really exist anywhere else in the world. Nick Jones and Soho House have successfully exported their clubs to a number of international locations, The Arts Club are soon to open an outpost in LA and there’s rumours that Robin Birley is looking to take 5 Hertford Street to New York but nowhere else in the world does a cluster of private hangouts exist like it does in central London. And there seems to be an ever growing demand for it from the different tribes that reside in these clubs. Open my Comme des Garçons wallet and a handful of membership cards will fall out – including Soho House, The Groucho, Quo Vadis and The Ned. But there’s arguably one

“’s the only nightclub to have played host to the Queen...” person and club that we all owe this to. Step forward, Mark Birley. Birley founded Annabel’s in a basement at 44 Berkeley Square in 1963. Named after his then wife, Lady Annabel (now Lady Annabel Goldsmith), it’s the only nightclub to have played host to the Queen, as well as President Richard Nixon, Lord Lucan and Frank Sinatra. Along with his other -16-

establishments including Harry’s Bar and Mark’s Club, the basement restaurant and bar with a dance floor was synonymous with sophistication, exclusivity and good taste. Fast forward 50 years and I’m standing in the entrance to 46 Berkeley Square in a hard hat and Hi-Vis jacket – admiring a spectacular cantilevered

stone staircase in the entrance hall - about to walk around the Grade 1 listed property that will soon be home to the new Annabel’s. Richard Caring, who purchased the Birley clubs in 2007 for £95m, is spending a small fortune on refurbishing and restoring this 26,000 square foot, 18th century Georgian townhouse to bring Annabel’s into the 21st century. Caring’s preferred interior designer, Martin Brudnizki, who has worked on the interiors of Sexy Fish, The Ivy and 34 is overseeing the project and working closely with the management team including Caring himself, Executive Director of the Birley

Clubs and Caprice Holdings Lilly Newell, Guillaume Glipa who recently joined from Chiltern Firehouse as Executive Director of The Birley Clubs, Operations Director Graziano Arricale, membership director Rebecca Burdess and membership manager Astrid Harbord.

and a large terraced garden that has a bespoke glass roof designed by Waagner Brio that will put Wimbledon’s Centre Court to shame in the speed that it will close. The club will even have two bespoke scents that are diffused throughout the whole building.

The new Annabel’s has been in the making for over four years and as well as retaining the famous basement nightclub – the layout will remain the same with the members’ cloakrooms being in the same location to what they’ve become accustomed to – it’s also going to be a day club with two restaurants, a cigar shop, workspace

As Operations Director Graziano Arricale says, “the old Annabel’s outgrew itself and the only way to take the club forward was to move it into a new site but Mr Caring didn’t want to move it too far away from its original home and he also really wanted outdoor space.”

The Garden Terrace

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Graziano Arricale, Operations Director of The Birley Clubs

Guillaume Glipa, Executive Director of The Birley Clubs

The Mirror Room

The new Annabel’s will be open from 7am to 4am and as Arricale notes, “the club will be more like a hotel when it comes to operations. We’ll only have a couple of hours each day to clean and re-stock the bars before it opens again.” That’s not the only thing that is changing with the reincarnation of the private club. The dress code is going change too. The club has always had a strict dress code for members – Birley only decided to relax the club’s dress code by allowing members to come in without ties in 2002.

Music has always been an important part of Annabel’s and it will continue to be. The club are working with a brand called L-ISA who are world leaders in music and entertainment systems. And that’s not the only technology they will be using. As Arricale explains, “we have lots of tribal knowledge – information about your members – and we’re developing a way to use that behind the scenes with technology to make their overall experience better whilst still being implemented through good old-fashioned hospitality.” And proper hospitality is what Birley founded Annabel’s on. He was after all the one who came up with the idea

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“It’s still in discussion but it will be a little more relaxed”, says Arricale. “You have to change with the times and just because someone adheres to the dress code it doesn’t mean they necessarily look smart.” We’re all to aware that an ill-fitting suit looks far

worse than a smart, well-cut pair of jeans, crisp tailored shirt and a pair of Bottega Venetta sneakers.


of covering lemon slices with muslin, holding the pips in when squeezed. The new Annabel’s is due to open in November at 46 Berkeley Square.

Adam Hyman @AdamMHyman



ee how its strength bursts to the top of the glass… the difference is almost frightening.” These are the mellifluous tones of suave British actor William Franklyn, on a voiceover for a 1970s Schweppes commercial created by Ogilvy and Mather, as a wrecking ball keeps smashing into the house he’s walking through. You can hear the tonic in his glass fizzing amongst the crashing. In another advert he steps up to make a speech in front of a large crowd, pouring himself a tonic before he begins. The hectic sound of the sparkle gets picked up by the microphone and the crowd begin to applaud. A delighted Henry Cooper

It’s clear what they are banging on about here, the Schhhh…You Know Who message highlighting the pleasure of having a fizzing maelstrom in the glass. That joy appears to be a rarer one these days. Limp, barely sparkling, lifeless G&Ts are dominating our bars and restaurants, an unwelcome flaccid malaise that is being driven in the name of ‘boutique’, ‘craft’ or ‘premium’ and ‘botanical’. FeverTree, I’m pointing a jabbing and accusatory finger, primarily, at you. Yes, I applaud how they have revolutionised the tonic market in a quite spectacular way, with an admirable and perfectly judged focus on the integrity of ingredients with the brilliant ‘If ¾ of your Gin & Tonic is

is smiling and clapping with gusto. Seizing the moment, Franklyn lifts the glass closer and the crowd goes wild, giving him a standing ovation. He doesn’t say a word, until sitting down. A relieved look at the camera: “They like my speech.”

tonic, mix with the best ™’ strapline clinching the argument – absolute genius, love it. Also worthy of praise, is the way they have slipstreamed since they launched in 2005, directly behind the resurgence and cavalcade of gin brands, and the relentless launch of boutique distilleries in the -19-

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“Limp, barely sparkling, lifeless G&Ts are dominating our bars and restaurants...”


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UK – the tonic market was ripe to be exploited, and they have done so with a rapier-like efficiency. As news broke last month that FeverTree co-founder Charles Rolls had cashed in a tidy amount of his shares (£73 million), I’m metaphorically there at the back of the room, slow hand-clapping the success while thinking of all the limp gin and tonics I’ve been enduring over the last few years. I’m not a spirits expert or a tonics expert (wine is more my bag), so any rage is coming purely from a punter’s perspective: quiet tonic makes me a bit ragey. So, what’s my beef ? It’s the fizz, man: where has it gone? This scourge of gentle carbonation, without a good nose prickle after first pouring, and then dissipating in seconds, ain’t doing it for me. Their website states ‘exceptionally high level carbonation’, but I’m not having it. These are tame, tame bubbles that shuffle off far too

carbonation of mineral water. Another major player, Britvic, have also followed suit with their own rebrand. A battle of the mixers is on. I’ve been slinging my tonic angst to and fro with one of my former Oddbins colleagues, Stelios Eliades, who now runs Drink Directory (drinkdirectory., a bespoke service for the trade and everyday consumer for sourcing drinks. “A great tonic should enhance the drink it is mixed with. The carbonation is important because it lifts the aromas and flavours out of the glass and up to your nose as you drink. A lot of what we perceive as flavour is delivered by aroma”, notes Eliades. He put me on to a player that is looking to take on Fever-Tree head on in the tussle for premium tonic space, Merchant’s Heart, which is owned by the owners of Schweppes, Suntory (who license it to Coca-Cola in the UK). We tried it. Good, more carbonation, righto. Better. Silly

“So, what’s my beef? It’s the fizz, man: where has it gone?” swiftly. I even heard some guff recently that it’s so highly carbonated that the bubbles are bursting quickly. Nah, not having that either. It’s not just them, either – I’m encountering similar lacklustre bubbles with other brands.

The Schweppes brand has clearly felt the bite as their former market dominance has been scythed by not just Fever-Tree, but by a growing host of tonic brands – their recent rebrand goes back to their roots, highlighting their 1783 heritage, the beginning of the business Jacob Schweppes founded which perfected the commercial -21-

The roll-call of tonic brands goes on and on: Goldberg; Thomas Henry; Franklins; Double Dutch; East Imperial; Jack Rudy; Square Root; 1724; Ledger’s; Fentiman’s; Bramley & Gage; Peter Spanton. It’s dizzying. If not always fizzying. Food and drinks writer Kate Hawkings led a tonic taste test with industry professionals in 2015, the results written up for The Telegraph, with the less successful deemed to have bubbles which are “too soft and/or too fleeting”. Schweppes ran out as the winner in the opinion of an esteemed judging panel. I check in with Kate on her current thoughts. “I’ve always thought Fever-Tree has the wrong sort of bubbles – they dissipate really quickly and leave the drink a bit flat

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Then there’s the cost. If you drink a lot of gin and tonics at home (I do, cans of Schweppes the preferred weapon of choice), Fever-Tree begins to become prohibitive. If ¾ of your Gin & Tonic is tonic, make sure you’re loaded, as you’re going to spend fuck loads on the part that doesn’t get you pissed…or something like that.

name, but anyway. It has made an appearance at Holborn Dining Room and a handful of London bars – it has Fever-Tree firmly in its sights.

“A great tonic should enhance the drink it is mixed with.”

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and claggy. I quite like their ‘Naturally Light’ one, but the bubbles are still wrong!” It all leaves bars and restaurants in an invidious position: tonics are sometimes being listed because of reputation, not because they are the best for the job. Or because customers are wanging on about them. Sophie’s Steakhouse is the only restaurant where I spotted Schweppes in cans as the preferred serve. New opening Plaquemine Lock serves Schweppes from the gun (as well as offering FeverTree in bottles), so ultimately a choice is the ideal compromise. The Mash Inn in Buckinghamshire has recently also started to offer Schhhh…alongside Fever-Tree. I may have harangued and bludgeoned owner Nick Mash into submission with my moaning. At least it has shut me up, no small mercy. Yet still, I’d like to find that tonic which has all of the brilliant story/

ingredients/ethics of the ‘premium’ mixer, with stories of ginger from the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, lemons from Sicily, quinine sourced from a remote part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and without the sodium saccharine sweetener – but most importantly – with enough perky levels of fizz to wake up the synapses. But which one to try next? “Each tonic adds something different. It’s great that there are so many gins and vodkas out there. Now, with the mixer market catching up, we can experiment with an incredible amount of combinations”, says Eliades. Right, on his tip-off, I have just placed an order online for some German Goldberg tonic x48, suckered in by their ‘high carbon dioxide content’ spiel. Next up, I’m in for a case of Thomas Henry. Don’t let me down. Another William Franklyn refrain stays with me from those commercials: -22-

‘A rare effervescence that lasts the whole drink through’ – yes, yes, YES. That’s all we ask for. The hunt for a tonic with the requisite cut and thrust of a nose prickling fizz continues…..until then: Schhhh…. You Know Who.

Zeren Wilson @bittenwritten Zeren Wilson is a food writer and wine consultant. He runs the website

Eat. Drink. Design.


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ver the past several months I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside Duck & Waffle and their team on the opening of their new  restaurant Duck & Waffle Local in St James’s Market. The no-reservations restaurant features a duck driven, fast-causal menu. Whilst it shares many similarities with its  exciting  space in the Heron Tower, it represents a  completely  different experience for the customer - and the team. I caught up with Dan Doherty, Chef Director of Duck & Waffle Local, to discuss his  experience  of working with a branding agency this closely.

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First up, what was the experience like working closely with a design/ branding agency on your latest project, Duck & Waffle Local? It was the first time that I’ve been as hands on, right from the start, with that aspect of a restaurant opening. Having spoken to lots of different agencies in the beginning, it was fascinating to see how different people interpret your thoughts and ideas for a project. Whether they were right or wrong, just going through the process helped us clarify what exactly was the direction we were going in. It opens your mind to so many different ideas, even if they aren’t totally relevant.

Duck & Waffle Local isn’t just a new restaurant but a new concept on a number of levels for London, being fast-casual but chef curated, and with a duck-centric menu. How much work went into the theory behind this, before the design and style could be approached? Well, we had the soul of Duck & Waffle, if you like, and we knew that soul would be at the core of what we wanted to do, but to develop the fast casual, duck centric side of it took a while. Food wise, I had to make sure the offering was balanced, not too in-yourface-duck. What I mean is rather than trying to push too many boundaries, I wanted to use duck as a foundation but to make the dishes familiar enough that people got it, but interesting enough to make people come. It’s a different crowd in Piccadilly, and that brings different challenges. It took time, there’s no  question about that and it’s not by any means perfect, but we are happy with where we are at.  One of the challenges was to take a well established high-end restaurant and make it more accessible. How do you feel branding and design has helped with educating customers of this change? Branding and design was key to achieving this. Separating the two very different styles of restaurants was the -24-

main challenge for us, especially when 75% of the name is the same (with the only addition being ‘local’). Using design was the only way to create a new identity whilst maintaining the DNA that means so much to us. How important do you think the branding has been in the launch of Duck & Waffle Local, and how important do you think branding and design is in general for new restaurants now? The branding has been hugely important; without a clear message we would have had a big problem with people visiting and being confused about what we were offering and how we were serving it. Being as the two restaurants are so different we just couldn’t run the risk of having that issue. If you’re opening a restaurant I’d really recommend spending time and energy on it, because its very hard to tackle this down the line. It helps focus your mind on exactly what you want the restaurant to be. Perception is reality and good branding can help get your message across.  Have you noticed a difference in the customer and the experience of working at the new location? Being as the two areas of London are so different, we always knew the demographic would represent that,

that saying, but I do enjoy making things look nice. If food doesn’t taste good, it’ll rarely look good, so starting off with great food is half the battle to making it look aesthetically pleasing. I think its just part of the process of cooking well.

You have a great aesthetic quality to the dishes at Duck & Waffle Local (and your cooking in general) is this an important part of the process for you?

Its very similar, as are a lot of creative industries. Its exciting, approaching a new project, and I could feel that with Shop Talk. The energy was and still is great. The hard thing is finding the right person to get what’s in your head and get that on paper or a computer screen. I don’t think its means one

Well, as the old saying goes, you eat with your eyes - I actually don’t agree with

agency is better than another, but there will undoubtedly be a creative designer who is the right fit for you.

With your experience working with design agencies, what similarities do you see between their thought processes and approaches and yours as a chef?


James Wood @designedbyjaw James Wood is co-owner of agency ShopTalk London.

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but we were surprised at how tourists aren’t so open to restaurants away from the West Ends typical power houses that really aren’t very good. They are heaving morning, noon and night and the prices are punchy, but I guess they are familiar in some way that people trust them. There are so many great restaurants in the area now, and with that comes a lot of choices, so there’s no need to have awful, overpriced steak in ‘that’ steakhouse.


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T H E R E ’ S S O M E T H I N G A











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unning out of money seems to be a recurring theme in Tommi’s account of his career. There was the time he spent too much money opening the Hard Rock Café in Reykjavik, there was the time he revived a derelict hotel to never turn a profit. And then there was the time he sped off into the South American sunset for retirement, only to find himself back in Iceland a few months later with empty pockets. But through the rough and tumble of the restaurant trade, it’s apparent the only thing that matters to the Icelandic chef is finding a good idea and running with it.

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Tommi Tómasson’s calling to the food business didn’t come from a childhood dream to open a restaurant. Far from it. In fact, his route into the professional kitchen was by way of his partiality for a drink or two. “Drinking is what I wanted to do all the time,” he recalls, “we drank on the job and I liked the atmosphere”. Taken by the lifestyle he made cheffing his career, completing the requisite seven years training to become a master chef. Though finding himself quite at home in the kitchen, it occurred to Tommi perhaps being a chef wasn’t enough, so he attended commercial college in Iceland before heading further afield to study in Miami. But the lifestyle he enjoyed was getting the better of him and he admits that on his return from Florida he was in no fit state to go the distance in the industry. “The truth is, when I came back from Miami I was not in a good order. I had to go to rehab and the only job I was offered when I came out of rehab was from a friend who was opening up a burger place.” He thought at the time it was a bit beneath his standing. “I was trained to

do more but nobody really had faith in me.” This was 1980. By 1981 he’d found his feet and decided to go solo in the burger trade with a simple plan to stick with it for three years or sell a million burgers, whichever happened first. Eight sites and a million burgers later, give or take a few, Tómasson was the fully-fledged Viking of burgers he’d set out to become. He sold up and set out to explore what the likes of London, LA and New York had to offer, encountering the Hard Rock Café on the way. Following a tip off about the best place to get a burger, Tommi found himself at the back of a lengthy queue to get his lunch. He hadn’t heard of the Hard Rock Café at this stage and points out that “Icelanders aren’t good at waiting in

The great hamburger guy.” Tigrett looked at Tommi, with no clue who he was but told him to come back the next day when he had more time to talk. A second meeting was enough to pique Tigrett’s interest and a trip to Reykjavik was planned. As Tommi tells the story, “Just a few weeks later, I was picked up in a limo and we went to Iceland.” I showed him around and he said, “I notice everybody is looking at you.” And then we go home and I give him tea. And he sits down and he says, “Tommi, you’re a good man. You can do the Hard Rock in Iceland.” It finally happened in 1987, when there were just 10 Hard Rock Cafés in the world. It was a revolution in Reykjavik and was the busiest restaurant in Iceland for ten years, although Tómasson admits it never

“I am Tommi Tómasson from Iceland. The great hamburger guy.” line”. But patience paid off. After less than five minutes inside he’d made up his mind about his next move. “This is something I have to do,” he remembers thinking. “From that point, there was no turning back. I was thinking about it constantly. Twenty-four seven.” The epiphany drove Tómasson to spend eight months tracking down the Hard Rock’s co-founder Isaac Tigrett, eventually finding him in New York as he was launching the Hard Rock Café there. He introduced himself: “I am Tommi Tómasson from Iceland. -28-

made any money. “That restaurant could have been anywhere in the world and still been one of the top restaurants. But the size of it, and the money spent, was not to scale with the Icelandic population.” This financial miscalculation was echoed in Tómasson’s decision to buy and restore the Hótel Borg in Reykjavik, a beautiful old building that he fell in love with and saved from a fate of redevelopment into offices. The “great hamburger guy” was now also “the guy that saved the hotel”. But overspending meant that, like the


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“I have been struggling my entire life not to go bankrupt...�

“But you know, there’s a difference between a burger and a burger and a bun and a bun.”

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Hard Rock Café, he never made any money from it. “I have been struggling my entire life not to go bankrupt,” he says, “but having fun”. Indeed, after selling up in Reykjavik with retirement on the cards, Tómasson headed to South America, to Buenos Aires, the “Mecca of Tango” as he calls it. But it wasn’t long before the money ran out and he found himself back in Iceland having to withdraw cash from three different bank accounts to find 500 Icelandic Króna (around £4) to top up his mobile phone. Once again, he was faced with the prospect of the burger business. Someone suggested he made a comeback. He staunchly refused, believing more than ever that he was beyond that point. “But when people heard I might, they start

talking, you know, Tommi’s going back into burgers. So, I said why not?” Telling his story from his Thayer Street branch of Tommi’s Burger Joint, Tómasson is surrounded by the business he developed from that point on; it amounts to 17 restaurants across Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the UK. With a history of financial missteps, how did he build such an empire? He uses the term ‘creative financing’: “The idea comes first, followed closely by taking action and only after that come the logistics of how it will happen,” he says. “Once you begin there’s no turning back. You have to complete the job. You do whatever. Then somewhere along the line you get a little bit here, a little bit there. And if you’re successful, -30-

everyone wants to be involved. That’s the name of the game.” But having people queueing outside his own restaurants is the result of an astute attention to detail and a passion for hospitality. “There needs to be good service, a good quality product, tender loving care, and above all: consistency. If you fulfil these four things – they’re like the four feet under the table - people will come.” It’s the same consistency Tómasson sees in the Relais de Venise, a French restaurant just around the corner on Marylebone Lane that he frequents when in town. “The only thing on the menu is steakfrites. It’s simple but totally reliable in its quality, every single time.” It’s interesting to note that the consistency in the quality of Tommi’s own burgers can be traced back to an independent family butcher in west London: HG Walter. The quality of meat is such that they export it to every outlet in Europe (aside from Oslo where strict regulations make it too complicated). Having outgrown HG Walter with their volumes, they now use the same meat but buy directly from the slaughterhouse. The bread buns are also made by Millers in the UK and exported. “I mean it’s just

a bun, and this is only a burger. But you know, there’s a difference between a burger and a burger and a bun and a bun.”

Asking Tommi whether he’s keeping an eye out for any more sites in London, he says he’s perfectly happy to get on with the three he’s already got. Then again he adds, “When you see a site, you look around…sometimes there’s no turning back. There’s a saying -31-

that a man’s mind, stretched to a new idea, will never go back to its original dimension”. So it looks like we’ll just have to wait and see.

Chloë Hamilton @chloedavida

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Tómasson claims he wouldn’t open up in London if he was just starting out in the burger business today. In preparing for his debut in London back in 2012, he and his two business partners – Icelandic guys that knew the London scene – did a recce of the competition, eating 25 burgers in three days. Though not a burger restaurant, Rivington Grill came out on top. And as a hamburger restaurant, Byron was also up there. “I was impressed. And at the same time, I said OK, I am not

afraid to go into competition with these restaurants. I think my burgers are just as good - or a little better.” But this was back when they were pioneers; Honest Burger were just starting out and it was before the days of Dirty Burger and Patty & Bun. A lot has changed in the intervening years and Tommi believes they wouldn’t be as accepted today as they were then.

The briefing Sam Jewel takes a closer look at one of the most important parts of the day in a restaurant – the staff briefing.


pm. Staff food has been cleared away. You are primed with specials, briefing points, staff allocation, the nights bookings and a reminder about the tube strike tomorrow morning, so no excuses for lateness in the morning.

tasks and take a moment together to catch up. It is a time to organise your team and motivate them, occasionally berate, but ultimately to try and engender a sense of passion and drive - a bit of hearts and minds.

their meals. The term ‘up-selling’ still makes me shudder. All metaphors aside, it is telling that some choose to focus on guests - their preferences in seating, newspapers,

There seems to be one thing lacking - the staff.

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One of the staff finally swaggers in with a coffee in hand and between sips bellows downstairs - ‘BRIEFING’. We hear the slow shuffle of feet and now we can begin. It’s as if the time of the briefing changes daily. There follows the usual script of question and answer: soup of the day? We ask…anyone? We almost plead. The Head Chef starts to mirror the colours of the heritage beetroots in his new starter, on his own cheeks. We rattle through the rest of the dishes in a state of increased agitation as we realise that no one checked the specials board. Luckily that means they will have also missed whichever hilarious joke or uplifting thought of the day you may have inadvisedly scrawled after that third espresso. The briefing is, in a restaurant, bar or private club, one of the few times that all staff stop the constant whirr of

“You can tell a lot about a restaurant through the style and focus of their briefings.” You can tell a lot about a restaurant through the style and focus of their briefings. A popular comparison in the West End is that of a theatre director arranging his cast. Making sure their costumes are correct, rehearsing their lines, ensuring the set, music and lighting are just so, before opening their doors. Others see their teams as a small army, ready to attack would be guests with offers and options to go along with -32-

drinks, allergies, to their pet dog’s choice of Badoit or San Pellegrino. These restaurants even change the vernacular used by their staff ‘guests’, not customers for example. This information is tested and reinforced at briefings and means that if you go even twice, you will likely be remembered. On the other hand there are places that use briefings as mouth pieces to run staff competitions, go over sales figures, bestsellers, rewarding or should I say ‘incentivising’ the best

waiters in terms of personal sales. Another way of galvanising a group of staff and giving positive outcomes at the end of the month. However the briefings that stayed with me the most and had the biggest impact on me, were those given by a GM of a New York restaurant, that I had the pleasure of working with, who had previously been a chef for several years in a Michelin starred restaurant in California.

late-night adventures he had with a certain winemaker who had produced the Vin Jaune to be sold by the glass were all covered. These stories along with tastings and ample time for the staff to ask questions meant that the passion and excitement he had spoken with, was eagerly taken up by his team and could be tangibly felt by all the diners later that evening. His passion for food had been transmitted through his team direct to everyone who came to the restaurant each night.

His briefings lasted up to 40 minutes and saw staff sitting around him with notepads diligently taking down his every word on each aspect of the food to be served that night. Tasting notes about cheeses, stories about the farmers and producers down to specific details of the herds of cattle whose meat went into the burgers. The

This was hugely enjoyable for me and for the team that worked with him and if any operator wanted proof of the effectiveness of these so called ‘softtouch’ methods to their bottom line, I could point out that all the specials food, wine and cocktails - sold out that night and I’m quite sure most nights. The translation of passion for food, -33-

So next time your staff are asked to explain a dish and they stumble and waffle until they eventually have to capitulate with the words “let me go and check”, please remember the value of The briefing. Using it to communicate your passion to your team can make all the difference to the experience your guests take home and the stories they tell to their friends.

Sam Jewel @samajewel

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“The translation of passion for food, wine and produce into revenue cannot be overlooked.”

wine and produce into revenue cannot be overlooked.

The art of staying alive Amongst the tumult of sky rocketing rents, lively competition, and the incoming perfect storm of Brexit, Chloë Hamilton looks at what the icons of the London dining scene are doing to keep afloat.


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hen it comes to eating out, we’ve never had it so good. The UK dining scene in 2017 is diverse, accessible and endlessly interesting; a constant carousel of bright lights and shiny new attractions. Calendars are stuffed with soft launches and Instagram feeds overflow with the latest hot-right-now food shot: XO linguine at The Other Naughty Piglet, cacio e pepe at Padella, a glass of Whispering Angel rosé on the rooftop of The Ned. So how do restaurants keep their head above all the commotion and stay open much longer than ten minutes? And how are the old-timers still laying the table for service every night? When Australian real estate mogul Tim Gurner suggested young people couldn’t afford to get a foot on the property ladder because of an irresponsible propensity for avocado brunches, just about everyone was up in arms. And whilst you can’t blame a generation’s problems on the humble superfruit, he did touch upon a kernel of truth. As Merlin Labron-Johnson of Portland and Clipstone puts it, “Young people can no longer afford to buy houses and get a mortgage so they’re spending their money on food instead; on going out and enjoying themselves.” Add to that long working hours and smaller flats where it’s difficult to entertain, you can see how the landscape for eating out has been upturned.

As our appetite for dining out grows keener (and our inner food critic is unleashed), it’s important to acknowledge the part pop-up culture and the street food trade has played in this evolution. In recent years our exposure to different cuisines – West African, Himalayan, Burmese, Taiwanese – has exploded. You only need look at what Adam Rawson, YBF chef of the year in 2015, has been doing over the past six months to chart the dizzying speed at which things are moving: a 12-course Japanese pop up here, a ramen residency there, a

be a place for more comfortable, less trendy options. “It’s like young ladies walking around in Jimmy Choos in pain and really they’re just desperate to walk around in Birkenstocks and be comfortable,” says Hartley. “You want to come to Joe’s, undo your belt and have a burger. We’re the Birkenstocks of the restaurant world”. Reliable and comfortable. Right now, Joe Allen is at an interesting crossroads in its history. Having occupied the same dimly lit basement on Exeter Street since opening in

“Calendars are stuffed with soft launches and Instagram feeds overflow with the latest hotright-now food shot...” brief appearance at Brixton Beach Boulevard and now bite-sized burgers in Holborn. Young faces like these are propelling change, pushing the industry forward at an unprecedented pace and taking our appetite with it. But then how do the old timers still have people walking through their door every evening? Lawrence Hartley and Tim Healy of West End institution, Joe Allen, believe there will always -34-

1977, July will see the restaurant serve its final covers before moving to a new site on Burleigh Street, thanks to a hotel development from Robert de Niro. They could have chosen to reinvent themselves, but then again, the magic of Joe Allen is in its history. “It’s in the walls, the people, the customers,” says Healy. “Which is why we’re taking so much of it with us. Yes, it’s a chance to uplift the offering and

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Joe Allen

we’re looking to do that, but we’ll be taking as much of our history with us as possible.” But both restaurateurs recognise, more than ever, you can’t rest on your laurels. In the five years under Hartley and Healy’s ownership, competition has been pressing in on all sides. Keith McNally imported Balthazar, The Ivy Market Grill has opened, Cicchetti, Café Murano, Bodean’s have all arrived. All within a stone’s throw of Joe Allen. “Competition is good,” says Tim, “It makes you clever”. But they believe there’s still very much a place for a dependable classic.

the pioneers. Rent wasn’t so eye watering and the cacophony of the PR circus wasn’t what it is today. So who’s to say they would find their feet were they to open their doors for the first time in 2017? At Portland (est. 2015) and Clipstone (est. 2016), LabronJohnson knows full well the challenges of the time: “All these great places are continually opening and the food scene follows. But what happens when the crowds move on? You might only start to break even in two years’ time.” His solution is to make a concerted effort to remain timeless. Speaking at the Young People in Food event at her restaurant, Spring, Skye Gyngell

“...the best you can do is have authenticity and integrity in everything you do.”

There’s also arguably an element of timing at play. Institutions like the River Café and St. JOHN opened in the 80s and 90s and Moro celebrates its 20th birthday this summer. They landed on the scene when they were

concurs: “Trends are a moving target. It’s impossible to keep up. So the best you can do is have authenticity and integrity in everything you do”. Perhaps it is this authenticity and integrity that has kept the best restaurants alive for so long. Much more than being PR spiel, it must be genuine and more often than not it comes from the creators. It’s no coincidence that Ruth Rogers, Fergus Henderson, Sam and Sam Clark are all still a living, breathing part of their restaurants. Their leadership and experience on the floor and in the kitchen is a reassuring promise to patrons that standards remain high. They might not be turning out the most Instagramed dish of 2017, but -37-

As nice as it would be for every restaurateur to see their creation through to the end, life happens and people move on. In which case, how is the spark of a restaurant kept alive instead of fizzing out into oblivion? Just like in any other business, it can only forge ahead if the values of the brand have been meaningfully passed from the founder into a shared culture among employees. Some 98 years ago Frederick Belmont opened Bettys in Harrogate and the fact it is as popular today as it was back then is in no small part due to the sustained passion for hospitality excellence throughout the Yorkshire enterprise. It’s not a case of young people wiping out the classics in one fell swoop with their tolerance of hard bar stools, preparedness to queue and demand for something new every week. On the contrary. For every impromptu weeknight dinner, there’s someone desperately trying to find a restaurant that will please their parents as much as their out-of-town friends. Whether it’s a modern classic or decades old, captained by its founder or sustaining a legacy, a restaurant that’s able to serve good food with genuine, dependable hospitality will have mouths to feed.

Chloë Hamilton @chloedavida

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It’s not only Hartley and Healy that believe in the strength of tradition. When Ottolenghi chose his favourite restaurant for an Observer Food Monthly feature, he picked El Parador in Mornington Crescent. “There’s nothing flash about the place by any stretch of the imagination; it’s just a great family-run neighbourhood joint that serves really decent food. Perhaps that’s what I love most about it – it’s all so wonderfully predictable, which I find comforting in a restaurant.”

there’s absolutely a hunger for the timeless food they’re cooking, and cooking so well.

The Tyrolean way

In association with Bon Vivant Travel

South Tyrol is the northern most region in Italy, existing entirely within the Alps with Austria bordering to the north and northeast and Switzerland to the northwest. Its landscape is defined by mountainous peaks and dense forests, lakes, castles, churches and vineyards. The idyllic, picture-book province mixes Alpine staidness with Italian joie-de-vivre making it a magical holiday destination within easy reach of London with direct flights to Verona and Innsbruck. Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant Travel picks the best places to stay.  

Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa The Rosa Alpina is a luxurious, elegant and glamorous hotel and spa in San Cassiano, Alta Badia. Set in the middle of the Dolomites, San Cassiano’s beauty is breath-taking and it is one of the finest winter resorts in the Alps.  It is also an ideal summer destination for families who want enjoy active holidays or for couples looking for romantic breaks. Run by the Pizzinini family over three generations, all of the 51 rooms and suites have been individually designed in a unique and authentic alpine style, decorated with local antique furnishings. The beautiful Loft Suites are open plan complete with an open fireplace for the winter and a large south-facing terrace for the

summer, but if the budget allows, it is worth staying in the truly spectacular three-bedroom wood-and-glass penthouse suite with outdoor hammam. The St Hubertus fine dining restaurant with Norbert Niederkofler at the helm has two Michelin stars and serves seasonal, local ingredients in innovative, locally-inspired dishes. There is also an excellent and intimate Fondue Restaurant and the more informal wine bar and grill. The spa features an indoor swimming pool, Finnish sauna, steam bath, yoga studio and treatment areas with views of the hotel’s private garden.

Castel Fragsburg

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A peaceful hideaway and hunting lodge, Castel Fragsburg dates back to the 17th century and is perched in the hills overlooking the valley of Merano and the orchards of South Tyrol. It’s the smallest 5 star luxury hotel in the Dolomites, nestled in a 10,000 square metre private park, and offers 20 rooms with spectacular views. Guests of  the hotel have complimentary access to the Alpine Healthcare Spa, which includes a heated outdoor pool. The restaurant combines the traditional cuisine of South Tyrol with Mediterranean recipes. The warm welcome, attention to detail and personal service make Castel Fragsburg an ideal place to recharge the batteries. -38-

San Luis The San Luis is set in 40 hectares of unspoilt alpine parkland around a large, clear-water lake. The hotel is a cluster of 22 wooden chalets and 16 tree-houses set in a secluded spot with views of the forest and jagged peaks beyond. All accommodation types have terraces, large windows and most chalets have their own hot tubs and saunas. The décor is  Alpine chic without the kitsch - wood, natural hues, wild Alpine flowers and log fires with lots of space for relaxing. A central clubhouse contains the reception, restaurant, bar and spa, but the double height, barn-style pool area with floor-toceiling windows decked out with wood, stone and roaring fires steals the show.

Vigilius Mountain resort

Emyr Thomas @BonVivantLiving

Whether soaking in the tub, dining on Northern Italian cuisine in the elegant restaurant, eating South Tyrolean fare on the terrace, doing laps in the indoor pool, or even relaxing in the sauna, guests are surrounded by views of pine-covered peaks and often snow-capped mountains.

Emyr Thomas is the founder of Bon Vivant, a luxury travel and concierge service based in London with global coverage. Book through Bon Vivant for access to free upgrades, breakfast, restaurant and spa credits.


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A modern, minimalist lodge in the Dolomites, Vigilius Mountain is a car-free resort and is accessible only by cable car from the village of Lana. A tranquil and peaceful resort of 41 open-plan rooms, Vigilius offers a truly elegant retreat. The resort’s décor is kept simple to complement the natural backdrop of the surrounding Dolomites.

Instagram spotlight

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In this feature we shine a light on our favourite Instagram accounts. Follow @the_lazyfoodie for an insight into where she dines.


24 hours in Berlin Mikey Williams popped over to the German capital for the weekend. Here are his recommendations for 24 hours in the city.

Stay | Soho House

11am | Engelberg

With 65 rooms and 20 serviced apartments, the Mitte outpost of Soho House makes for the perfect base from which to explore the city. In a previous life the building was home to the Communist Party’s Central Committee, but nowadays you’ll have to make do with its rooftop pool, a Cecconi’s and an outpost of The Store on the ground floor.

Located in Prenzlauer Berg, Oderberger Straße mounts a strong argument for being one of Berlin’s most picturesque streets. The street has a number of restaurants but Engelberg constitutes the best option for an al fresco brunch of German charcuterie, cheese, eggs and excellent bread.

Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin +49 30 4050440

Oderberger Straße 21, 10435 Berlin +49 30 44030637

1pm | Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers

3pm | Mogg

One of the city’s new wave coffee shops, Father Carpenter and its sundappled courtyard seating makes for a great pit stop from shopping in the Mitte district. They use Five Elephant’s roasts and all their coffees are served with a little sweet snack. Münzstraße 21, 10178 Berlin

7pm | Geist Im Glas Though they serve suspect-looking brunches on boards by day, Geist Im Glas becomes a serious drinking destination by night. Cocktails feature home-infused spirits and make for a perfect pre or post-dinner sharpener. The cute bar specialises in infused alcohols that are poured from giant bottles at the bar and mixed into their house cocktails.

Mogg (formerly Mogg & Melzer) is housed in the New Objectivity building alongside galleries and the Pauly Saal restaurant. The deli was founded by two DJs over their shared love of cured beef. Though the menu branches out beyond sandwiches, the right move at this modern take on a New York-style deli is the Reuben, topped with melted ‘Swiss’ cheese, sauerkraut and a special dressing. Auguststraße 11-13, 10117 Berlin +49 (0)17664961344

Lenaustraße 27, 12047 Berlin +49 176 55330450

9pm | Lode & Stijn

Lausitzer Straße 25, 10999 Berlin +49 30 65214507 -41-

Berlin claims to be the spiritual home of the donar kebab, so to not end a night with one would be blasphemous. Though the question of where to find the city’s best is a divisive one, many agree on Imren due to it’s freshly baked flatbreads and house-made sauces. When in Rome, after all… Karl-Marx-Straße 75, 12043 Berlin +49 163 8545512

Issue 11 | Summer 2017 |

Reward yourself after a walk along the canal by ending up at this contemporary bistro in Kreuzberg. You can reserve ahead for a five-course tasting menu in the dining room, or simply cosy up to the bar in front of the open kitchen and enjoy the natural wines on offer, plates of deep-fried yet delicate bitterballen and excellent beef tartare accompanied by the city’s best bread and butter.

11pm | Imren Grill

Last orders Marcus Samuelsson has opened his Harlem restaurant Red Rooster in London. For this issue’s Last Orders, he dishes up his Sunday Tomato Eggs.

Sunday Tomato Eggs

Ingredients – serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chorizo, onion, celery and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the passata, capers, olives, chipotle and water, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce is thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the horseradish and season with salt and pepper.

115g cooking chorizo, chopped 1 onion, chopped 2 tbsp finely chopped celery 2 garlic cloves, chopped

Crack each egg into the sauce and cook until the whites are set, 5 to 6 minutes.

400g tomato passata 1 tbsp capers, drained 3 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped 1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped 60ml water

Issue 11 | Summer 2017 |

1 ½tsp horseradish, preferably freshly grated 8 large eggs 4 slices country bread, toasted 230g burrata, at room temperature, cut into pieces Extra-virgin olive oil 4 fresh basil leaves -42-

Put a piece of toast on each of the four plates. Spoon 2 eggs onto each piece of toast and divide any sauce left in the pan. Top the eggs with burrata, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, tear the basil leaves and drop on top, and serve. Tomatoes, celery, capers, horseradish – these ingredients remind me of a Bloody Mary. And that would not be a bad choice to accompany these eggs.

The CODE app directory LONDON 100 Wardour St 28°-50° Maddox Street 28°-50° Marylebone Lane 45 Jermyn St. 68 and Boston All Star Lanes Bayswater All Star Lanes Brick Lane All Star Lanes Holborn Ametsa with Arzak Instruction Antidote Aqua Kyoto Aqua Nueva BAO Fitzrovia Bar Boulud Beagle Bellanger Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack Soho Bump & Grind BungaTINI Burlock Cafe Monico Ceviche Old St Chicken Shop Kentish Town Chicken Shop Whitechapel CHICKENliquor Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels Corrigan’s, Mayfair Coya Crosstown Doughnuts Camden Crosstown Doughnuts Shoreditch Crosstown Doughnuts Soho Crosstown Doughnuts Victoria Crumbs & Doilies Damson & Co Dehesa Demon Wise & Partners Dirty Bones Shoreditch Dirty Bones Soho Dirty Burger Kentish Town Dirty Burger Shoreditch Ducksoup Ember Yard EuroCave UK Flat Iron Curtain Road Fox Bar Foxlow Balham Foxlow Chiswick Foxlow Clerkenwell

GinTonica at The Distillery Granger & Co. Clerkenwell Hawksmoor Air Street Hawksmoor Borough Hawksmoor Guildhall Hawksmoor Knightsbridge Hawksmoor Seven Dials Hawksmoor Spitalfields Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar Helene Darroze at The Connaught Hix Oyster & Chop House HIX Soho Hixter Bankside Holborn Dining Room Hutong | The Shanghai Bar Jar Kitchen Jikoni Joe’s Southern Table and Bar Covent Garden Jose Pizarro Joyeux Bordel Kurobuta Marble Arch Les 110 de Taillevent London Little Bat Lobos Meat & Tapas Soho London Cocktail Club Bethnal Green London Cocktail Club Islington London Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue London Cocktail Club Shoreditch Lorne Lucky Voice Soho M Victoria Street Mac & Wild Devonshire Square Mac & Wild Fitzrovia MARCUS Mark’s Bar at Hixter Bankside Mark’s Bar at HIX Soho Mark’s Bar at The Old Vic Mason & Company Maze MEATliquor N1 MEATliquor Queensway MEATliquor W1 MEATmarket MEATmission Megaro Bar Merchants Tavern Oklava Opera Tavern

Opium Oriole Outlaw’s at The Capital Paradise Garage Passione Vino Percy & Founders Perilla Petit Pois Bistro Pharmacy 2 Picture Fitzrovia Picture Marylebone Pidgin Pip & Nut Pitt Cue Pizarro Pizza East Kentish Town Pizza East Shoreditch Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden Pizza Pilgrims Dean St Pizza Pilgrims Exmouth Market Pizza Pilgrims Kingly St Polpo at Ape & Bird Polpo Notting Hill Radio Alice Rawduck Restaurant Ours Revolution Personal Training Rivington Grill ROKA Aldwych Rotorino Salt Yard Sardine Spring Spuntino St. JOHN St. John Bread & Wine St. JOHN Maltby STK London Supper Ten Bells Tandoor Chop House Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch Tapas Brindisa Soho The Club Chinois bar at Park Chinois The Drapers Arms The Frog The Gilbert Scott The Gym Group The Hide Bar The Ned The River Cafe The Quality Chop House

The CODE app is available to anyone working in hospitality. Simply prove your employment in the industry* and enjoy unlimited access to exclusive dining offers for £11.99 a year. * Restaurant, bar, cafe, hotel, private members’ club, catering contractor, street food vendor, commercial airlines and F&B leisure outlet. -43-

Tramshed Tredwell’s Treves & Hyde TT Liquor Typing Room Ugly Drinks Union Street Bar Union Street Café Untitled Veneta Wright Brothers Borough Market Wright Brothers Soho Wright Brothers Spitalfields Zelman Meats Zoilo NORTH Albert’s Schloss All Star Lanes Almost Famous GN Almost Famous Leeds Almost Famous Liverpool Almost Famous NQ Another Heart To Feed Asha’s Black Dog Ballroom NQ Black Dog Ballroom NWS Bollibar @ Asha’s Bundobust Leeds Bundobust Manchester Burnt Truffle Busaba Liverpool Cane & Grain Crazy Pedro’s Part Time Pizza Parlour NQ Crazy Pedro’s Part-Time Pizza Parlour Dog Bowl Don Giovanni Electrik Electrik Bar Evelyn’s Gaucho Leeds hangingditch Hawksmoor Manchester Hispi Home Sweet Home GN Hula Manchester Hula West Didsbury Ibérica Manchester James Martin Manchester Keko Moku

Maray MEATliquor Leeds Mughli Knutsford Mughli Rusholme Neighbourhood Liverpool Neighbourhood Manchester Railway Kitchen & Bar Red’s True BBQ Rosylee Sticky Walnut Tampopo Albert Square Tampopo Corn Exchange Tampopo Trafford Centre The Alchemist Brunswick St The Alchemist Greek Street The Alchemist New York Street The Comedy Store Manchester The Fitzgerald The Liars Club The Oast House TNQ Restaurant Tusk Manchester Volta Volta Bar Walrus SCOTLAND Harajuku Kitchen Ibérica Glasgow Smith & Gertrude The Printing Press The Refinery The Stockbridge Tuk Tuk Edinburgh Tuk Tuk Glasgow Wedgwood The Restaurant DUBLIN Featherblade TapHouse The Hill

All venues correct at the time of going to print.

CODE Quarterly | Issue 11 | Summer 2017  

Welcome to issue 11 of the Quarterly where Chloë Hamilton interviews Tommi Tómasson of Tommi’s Burger Joint, as well as looking at how resta...

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