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Chef Tom Aikens's London fish-and-chip shop

 
Chef Tom Aikens's London fish-and-chip shop finally may open next week.

Tom's Place was originally planned for October, serving fish from sustainable stocks to be eaten with cutlery made of natural starch and fibers on tables built from recycled plastic.

The opening was held up by Chelsea residents concerned about a chip shop on their doorstep. Chef Vineet Bhatia has similar problems at his Indian eatery Urban Turban, where local objections mean he is unable to keep alcohol in the bar at the center of the dining room. Tom's Place may open on Feb. 5 or 6, Aikens says.

``The builders are finishing this week, then we have a lot of cleaning to do and we need to do a bit of cook-off before a soft opening for family and friends,'' the chef said yesterday in a telephone interview. ``It's all looking good for next week.''

For information, try calling +44-20-7351-1806 . I just did and was told the opening was scheduled for Feb. 4. Hmmm...

Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and Shane Osborn of Pied a Terre are among the leading U.K. chefs who will be preparing a special dinner in the City of London financial district on March 8 to raise money for Action Against Hunger. They will be joined at 1 Lombard Street by the venue's chef, Herbert Berger, and by John Campbell of the Vineyard at Stockcross.

Tickets for the event, which includes a Champagne Taittinger reception and a wine auction, are priced at 160 pounds ($318). Last year's dinner raised 67,000 pounds. For tickets and information, call Heidi Drummond on +44-20-8293-6133 .

Francesco Mazzei, who gained a following at St. Alban on Regent Street, is to open a contemporary Italian restaurant in the coming weeks on the border between the City and Shoreditch. L'Anima will feature a separate bar lounge and a walk-in wine- tasting cellar. The opening is scheduled for early March.

Mazzei, who learned to cook with his family in Calabria, also will serve an Italian breakfast of frittata with porcini mushrooms, pancetta, sun-dried tomatoes and stracchino. For information: L'Anima, 1 Snowden Street, London, EC2A 2DQ. Tel. +44-20-7422-7000 or click on http://www.lanima.co.uk/ .

Sam and Eddie Hart, the brothers behind Fino and Barrafina, plan a grill in Soho on the site of Quo Vadis, which they bought from Marco Pierre White. ``It will be inspired by the sort of grill rooms you used to find in the great hotels: very glamorous,'' Sam Hart said yesterday in a telephone interview. ``It will be traditional but not stuffy.'' The Harts expect customers to spend about 55 pounds, including wine.

Acorn House, which bills itself as London's first truly eco- friendly restaurant, is about to gain a sibling. Water House Restaurant, in Hoxton's Orsman Road, is scheduled to open on Feb. 11, serving simple, ethical and organic food in a restaurant designed and built with the environment in mind. The venue is owned by the Shoreditch Trust, a charity that helps to regenerate the area through community projects. For details, see http://www.acornhouserestaurant.com .

Almeida, D&D London's French restaurant in Islington, has reopened with a new look and a new menu featuring lighter dishes such as steamed fish and vegetables. For those of us with larger appetites, there's ballotine of duck foie gras, port jelly and sourdough. There's also a new bar with an all-day menu. For more information, 30 Almeida Street, N1 1AD. Tel. +44-20-7354-4777 .

Vivat Bacchus has garnered publicity for its 1,000 pound tasting menu, introduced as a service to bankers burdened by their bonuses. (Luckily, the venue is in Farringdon, so not dependent on Societe Generale, in Tower Hill.) Neleen Strauss, one of the co- owners, said only two diners tried the menu on the first night, and both were journalists. What's the attraction in spending so much? ``It's instant Prozac,'' she said. Sounds more like Viagra.

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Tags: Chef Tom Aikens , London Catering Jobs , London Chef Recruitment Agency , London Chefs Jobs , London Fish-and-chip Shop
 


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