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Conran's latest baby opens just off Regent's Street

Heddon Street (just behind Regent Street on the Mayfair side of the road) is being redeveloped by its owners, the Crown Estate as a pedestrian precinct. Good news for diners sitting outside the new Zinc Bar & Grill who will be able to taste their food free of exhaust fumes. Chef Paul Catterson is a Conran man - he comes from Quaglino's in St James's, and the accent on crustacea there will accompany him to Mayfair. Zinc is quite big - 115 seats within and a further 36 outside when the weather is warm enough. The main restaurant on the ground floor is dominated by the stylish 40 foot long zinc bar lit from the skylights above. As well as good range of cocktails, so popular in London nowadays, there are plenty of bar snacks to fill the odd corner. In common with typical Conran practice, the state of the art stainless steel kitchen is on view to the diners.

It reminds us of a larger scale version of The Polygon, (not a Conran eaterie), which we admired when it opened at the end of last year. There's a Menu Prix Fixe, two courses for 8.95, three for 12.50. Some dishes come from the main menu; you might be offered Cran Bisque or Leek and pancotta tart followed by Sausages and mash or Cod and colannon. From the main menu, starters might include terrine de campagne, gaspacho or oeuf en gelée all at 3.50. Main courses include Squid new potatoes and aïoli or Eel and bacon skewer for 7.50, or rotisseried rib of beef 11.50, poussin with Toulouse sausage 9.95, or leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic. There's a plateau de Fruits de Mer for 24.50, or you can have lobster mayo from 11.75, crab mayo for 7.50, or a dozen rock oysters for 12.00. All crustacea are in the shell. (I thought oysters were molluscs?)

Early reports suggest that the plain no nonsense cooking at Zinc is right on the spot, with good ingredients well prepared, unfussily but attractively presented. The plan is to roll out more Zinc Bars & Grills in London and the rest of the UK.

Zinc Bar & Grill, 19-21 Heddon Street, W1, Tel: 020 7255 8899

Open Mon-Wed 11am - 11pm; Thur-Sat 11am - 1am; Sun 12noon to 6pm.

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