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What's happening in the foodie scene! - August/September 2005


Islington’s newest wine bar, Colebrooke’s, has opened on the site of Tony Maroni’s restaurant in Colebrooke Row, where Tony and his mamma served traditional Italian nosh for more than a quarter of a century. In fact - is it possible to have lived in Islington for 25 years and never known of Tony Moroni’s existence? Read more

Sam's Brasserie & Bar, 11 Barley Mow Passage Chiswick, London W4 4PH 
opens 15th August
As I write, the brushed screed flooring has just been laid, the butcher's block topped tables are being arranged, and the obligatory zinc bar is ready for action at this high tech, but pleasantly informal neighbourhood venue. With Sam Harrison's experience (he's one of Rick Stein's discoveries down in Padstow) and a passion for seasonal and robust ingredients, the place looks set to become a West London destination. Look out for the roast wood blewits (autumnal fungi), Lamb's kidneys, Fish soup with all the trimmings. Follow on with roast line caught cod, or crisp sea bass (thank you Rick!);  for meaties there's slow roast shoulder of lamb, clever things done to unsuspecting ducks, or for the more conventional amongst you, the definitive sirloin steak with Béarnaise and French fries. I'm sure we shall be reporting on Sam's once it's got going. 
PS Have seen some encouraging reviews since its opening.

Open daily 9am-11pm (Sunday 10.30pm); Starters around £6, mains £13ish, puds average £5.50 House wines from £12.50 tel: 020 8987 7389

NOZOMI 14-15 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London SW3

I went along to the opening of this new Italian owned Japanese restaurant. Because of the crush of beautiful Knightsbridge people, it was hard to get a feel for how the place will look as a restaurant, but the bar area is very cool with its dark wenge floors and specially commissioned silver grey leather seating. In the restaurant area it was easier to look up and admire the glass roof, which is all I could remember from its previous incarnation as the Italian restaurant Floriana, so comprehensive has been designer Tom Moore's makeover.  We ate lots of delicious canapés, many of which were mini versions of menu dishes. There's also a sushi bar and a private dining room.

Closed Sunday and Monday. Lunch 12-3pm, dinner 6-11pm Average price guide, including bevvies, (I'm told): lunch £25, Dinner £48 Tel: 020 7838 0181

Ditto Bar & Restaurant 55-57 East Hill, Wandsworth London SW18

 Here's another local destination restaurant, this time in Wandsworth Old Town. It's been taken over and transformed by Will Oakley, formerly General Manager of the Halcyon Hotel on Holland park. Will has captured chef Lee Glen, who made a name for himself at Soho House before popping over the pond to head up the kitchen at Soho House Hotel NY where he catered for the tastes of the famous. His menu favours well tried favourites like pan fried calves' liver, rib eye steaks and homemade burgers prepared with real passion for quality ingredients and with consummate skill. For those who love grazing there are sample small plates all at £3.75. Average dinner price ex wine is £23.00

Tel: 020 8877 0110


Manchester makes Room for award-winning restaurant

Damned refreshing. I have every confidence Room will presage a new upturn for the jaded industry.’ Giles Coren, The Times


Following the huge success of its sister ventures in Leeds and Glasgow, Room has announced that it will open its third independent restaurant in Manchester at the end of October.

Located at the top of King St. on the former site of Reform Club, Room’s latest venture is set to become one of Manchester’s most talked about restaurants.


Widely praised in the media, Room has received rave reviews from the national press for its down to earth approach to food. The Observer has called it ‘plain speaking yet inspirational’ and Harpers & Queen called it ‘unpretentious food served without attitude’.

 What is Room Manchester?

A modern restaurant and cocktail lounge bar offering contemporary design and good quality food.


What’s on the menu?

Retro cuisine with a modern twist featuring classic dishes inspired from earlier decades, which one might have found in British pubs or restaurants. Think prawn and avocado cocktail; steak and kidney pudding; toad in the hole; jelly and ice cream or shepherd’s pie.

 There’s also an extensive drinks list, ranging from classic cocktails with a difference to fines wines and spirits. Highlights on the cocktail menu include the intriguingly named ‘Sidecar to the Stars’, a twist on the original Sidecar cocktail as well as Room’s signature drink the ‘Roomberry’, a champagne-based cocktail, mixed with a fresh strawberry liqueur and Chambord.


Room will also offer private dining facilities in the shape of ‘The Rose Room’ a beautiful private room with a bar. The Rose Room will be the perfect venue for corporate entertaining and with seating for up to forty, it is ideal for smaller functions or events.

 Who’s behind it?

John Pallagi and Simon Wright, the founders of the award-winning Room brand.

 Since opening their first Room restaurant in Leeds in 2002, Pallagi and Wright have become a formidable force in the restaurant business. In 2004, they bravely took on Gordon Ramsay’s former restaurant at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow and turned it into the critically acclaimed Room Glasgow.

 Says John Pallagi, co-founder of Room Holdings Ltd., “With Room, we aim to bring something fresh to the Manchester restaurant scene. Every Room restaurant is different and reflects the individual style and vibe of the city. Manchester was an obvious choice for our third restaurant as it’s a cosmopolitan and forward-thinking city, which fits well with our brand. We are confident that Mancunians will embrace the Manchester Room experience.”

Where is Room Manchester?

Room is located at 81 King St, 0161 839 2005

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