We’ve hit peak holiday season but if you’re staying put there are plenty of food and drink happenings in August to keep you well sated and entertained. From sushi mastery in Knightsbridge to vegan tacos from a chef known for his grilled meat, Hugh Thomas profiles this month’s most appetising pop-ups, guest chef appearances and kitchen takeovers.
Dig deep into your wallets, as sushi master Endo Kazutoshi brings his talents to this 5-star hotel. A 15-course sushi-based menu is to be laid on, previewing Kazutoshi’s new restaurant at BBC’s Television Centre, which is set to open later in the year.
Knightsbridge | £150 | Until 31st August
Like jazz? Love chefs with various namechecks on their CV? Well you’re in luck – Seven Sisters’ Five Miles hosts a pop-up jazz club, with Kylie Minogue, Jamie Cullum, and Ronnie Scott’s collaborator Leo Richardson. His quartet are on the brass and strings, while Trystan-Ross Williams (who’s worked at Restaurant Sat Bains and Murano) is on the (sauce) pans. The menu looks promising – especially the stone fruit bread and butter pudding.
Seven Sisters | £15 | 5th August
Following on from their well-received pop ups at Platform 1 in Dulwich and The Sun & 13 Cantons in Soho, Oxalis – now with a more refined menu – are behind the stoves at this Coldharbour Lane bar/restaurant. Find a four-course menu or a la carte options, with gnocchi with sea kale and oxalis (wood sorrel to you and me), broad bean tortellini with rabbit and cured egg, and gooseberry crème fraiche tart to round things off.
Brixton | Throughout August
London’s frontline food and beer experimenters Malt + Pepper continue their kitchen takeover at The King & Co. What’s new? Their weekend brunch menu, featuring fried chicken eggs benedict with IPA-infused hollandaise, and smoked porter beans on toast. Keep your beer goggles trained on their new weekly-changing specials, too.
Clapham | Throughout the summer
Carousel’s August chef residencies include Arnout van der Kolk’s experimentations with sub-zero dishes and Edward Delling-Williams (a chef who, last time I spoke to him, said he’d never work in the UK again. I suppose for a four-day stint in the city, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt) from Paris’ Le Grand Bain. Both good options, but then there’s the opportunity to witness the first glimmers from a potential all-star chef, as Rafael Cagali (once of the Michelin three-starred Fat Duck, among others) flies solo for the first time.
Marylebone | £39.50 | 21st – 25th August
Master of vegetables Jeremy Fox is flying over from his Los Angeles restaurant Rustic Canyon to rustle up a multi-course menu that’ll have vegetarians flocking. Our American brothers and sisters know him for his white yams with garlic butter, or Zuckerman’s asparagus with cultured cream, but Fox will be working with British summer produce in its peak to remind us of what we do best.
Shoreditch | £65 | 14th & 15th August
For all the taco joints in town, and the mass excitement over tacos eighteen months ago, finding some really good taquerias in London isn’t as easy as it should be. Vegan pub The Spread Eagle is the latest taco joint to throw its hat into the ring, inviting big-name chefs to take the corn-tortilla-plus-fillings formula to new heights. ‘Taco Tuesdays’ happens once a month throughout the summer, with Temper chef Neil Rankin the latest collaborator.
Homerton | 7th August
The shared garden terrace of Parasol Unit and Victoria Miro art galleries is a green refuge (even after London’s sizzling summer) from the outside world of Islington and Hackney and the A501. Here, the much-acclaimed Sardine hosts Provencal-style lunches throughout the month: think whole sea-baked sea trout, mozzarella with black figs and basil, and the fashionable tomato and tapenade tart.
Hoxton | £27-£45 | Multiple dates in August
Nanny Bill’s at The Gardening Society
Pub grub comes to the John Lewis rooftop. If you can brave the Oxford Circus melee, Nanny Bills are dishing up their ‘hand-pressed’ burgers and mac and cheese croquettes all week.
Oxford Circus | Bookings required | Until 28th Sept
After a successful stint at this Italian-oriented wine bar, Fat Tony’s earned itself a more long term deal. Regulars aren’t exactly miffed – this is proper Italian comfort food, from the pappardelle with beef shin ragu to stracchino, ricotta, and parmigiano tortellini with sage butter.
Marylebone | Ongoing