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Aqua London

[Translate] Atop the former Dickins & Jones department store on Regent Street, Aqua London (240 Regent Street, entrance at 30 Argyll Street, London W1F 7EB +44 (0) 20 7478 0540).has opened its doors. It is the first overseas outpost for the Hong Kong based restaurant group. The venue is divided...

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Kin Shop

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 09-11-2010

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The sophmore effort from Season One Top Chef champ/Perilla owner Harold Dieterle has a water color vibe thanks to the aqua-marine artwork and Monet-esque banquettes lining the white brick walls, and puts its own spin on traditional Thai fare from braised goat Massaman Curry with toasted coconut/mustard greens/purple yams, to squid ink & hot sesame oil soup w/ ground brisket, squid, and snake beans, sadly also what Jake’s became after years of hitting the juice.

469 6th Avenue (between 11th and 12th St.), New York, NY +1 (212) 675-4295 KinShopNYC.com

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Hung Ry

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 08-11-2010

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Dedicated to the theatrical art of hand-pulling their pasta, this noodlery’s clean, Eastern vibe boasts recycled wood floors and chairs pulled from UPenn, both of which can support you while drinking their global craft beers/sakes and supping on roasted bone marrow w/ wasabi, veal head terrine, and (obviously) noodles packed with everything from Peking duck & Szechuan/sweet peppers, to Pork belly/tail/tongue (eat it all, however, and the whole hog will certainly be you).

55 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette St.), New York, NY +1 (212) 677-4864 hung-ry.com

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9

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 05-11-2010

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Evincing a trendy art gallery thanks to a black laquered bar/floors, copious wall graffiti, and a rotating selection of local works, the ‘inoteca/dell’anima alum behind 9’s pushing out Med-influenced fare including garlic bread meatball sliders, buttermilk fried rabbit w/ spicy apricot jam, and hanger steak sided by roasted marrow gremolata and a radish salad, appropriate, as nobody wants a salad that’s bogusish.

800 Ninth Avenue (at 53rd Street), New York, NY +1 (212) 956-3333 9restaurantnyc.com

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Oficina Latina

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 04-11-2010

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Inspired by fare from all over the Latin world, OL’s tucked into a sultrily-lit industrial-vintage sleeve (lots of wood, hanging rubber-caged construction lights) adorned with loads of cultural ephemera and rocking a corner nook for live bossa nova bands, plus a beam-covered back patio/garden. Authentic tapas include spicy tongue taquitos, fried blood sausage, and lamb skewers w/ tomato and apple, while the cocktail program holds exclusively latin wines, 100+ rums, and carafes of Latin liquors served on a mirrored tray sporting lines of sugar, which will only get you high-per.

24 Prince Street (between Mott and Elizabeth St.), New York, NY +1 (646) 381-2555

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Lani Kai

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 03-11-2010

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Say there’s a bar.

Now, this bar prides itself on concocting perfect mai tais, knows its way around a pu-pu platter and generally makes you feel like everyone around you should be wearing a coconut bra.

You would probably call this place a tiki bar.

And for the first time in a good long while, you would be wrong.

But hey, you still get a mai tai…

Here to introduce New York to the anti-tiki Hawaiian lounge is Lani Kai, an ode to Hawaii’s cocktailing and culinary delights from the owner of Pegu Club and Flatiron Lounge, opening next week in SoHo.

You probably guessed this was coming: no kitschy totems, no pink leis, no grass skirts. Which is fine. Because instead you’ll walk into two floors that feel like a tiny, classy Hawaiian paradise in SoHo: light wood floors, a long communal table, airy blue walls, a chandelier made of seashells and a fireplaced downstairs lounge perfect for your next indoor luau.

And while pork buns and fry platters may start flying out of the kitchen, stay diligently focused on the rum. It comes by the flight, in cocktails (like the house Planter’s Punch, made with raisin-infused rum) or in a little device they’re calling the punch pitcher, which is just what it sounds like: a punch bowl, but more upright.

Yes, the punch pitcher era is upon us.

525 Broome Street (at Thompson St.), New York, NY 10013 +1 (646) 596-8778 lanikainy.com

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Les Deux Salons

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 02-11-2010

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Finally making a commitment can bring wonderful things…usually followed by mediocre things, then an expensive divorce, a fling with a waitress, and a failure to learn your lesson about commitment. Finally going monogamous with French grub, the man behind Les Deux Salons.

Soft opening today, Deux is the third joint from Will “Not That One” Smith, whose prior chow-houses, Arbutus & Wild Honey, have both won Michelin stars for their European belly-fillers; this latest venture’s got a strictly old-school Parisian vibe, filled with mosaic flooring, oversized tarnished mirrors, and bentwood chairs — though if it causes that much agony, why don’t they just redesign the chair? Inspired by classic brasserie fare, the menu starts with small-scale tongue-pleasers like red mullet soup w/ green olive tapenade, tarte lyonnaise (bacon/onion/cheese) w/ organic salmon, and a hearty, slow-cooked pork belly “petit salé”, meaning “little salt” (thank God! Angelina’s doing her own version of the Young Bond series!). Moving up to the bigger grub, there’s roast halibut with razor clams, ravioli of rose veal w/ goats curd & cavolo nero, and even a bacon & Herefordshire snail pie, too much of which will make you feel…sluggish.

As with the other venues, there’ll be a slightly more affordable plat du jour, and all of the world-spanning vinos will be avail by the carafe — keeping you from having to make a commitment to a whole bottle, then trying to give the waitress your tip.

42-44 William IV Street, London WC2N 4DE lesdeuxsalons.co.uk

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Burger & Barrel

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 01-11-2010

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Our Department of Burgers has been busy.

New intel has been unearthed.

And we’re not going to say it involves bacon jam, but we’re not going to not say that…

So on this easygoing Friday afternoon, we bring you first word that Burger & Barrel, a new patty emporium and beer shack from the folks behind Lure Fishbar, is opening next week in SoHo.

Looking out onto the stiletto theater of Houston Street, B&B is the sort of breezy and light restaurant you don’t normally associate with houses of beef: there’s a wall of windows for people-watching, light wood tables and banquettes are strategically arrayed for checking out the other tables and banquettes, and there are seats at the bar for those who require total focus on meat and bun.

You’ll want to note that these particular burgermeisters choose to grill their patties with mustard pre-added, in the style of a certain Los Angeles chain that has become the stuff of fast-food legend. But don’t let that distract you from your burger consumption/field reporting mission: stake out a table near the window for prime indoor/outdoor scene surveying and let your burger come as the burger gods (okay, just the chef here) intend: topped with American cheese, slathered in piping-hot caramelized onions and finished strong with… bacon jam.

Or don’t keep things simple, and go for the sloppy joe burger, two beers and a pulled pork or short rib taco.

Bacon jam optional.

25 W Houston Street, New York, NY +1 (212) 334-7320

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Mino Kitchen

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 29-10-2010

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Moving from town to big city is crucial if you ever want to make it on a grander stage, unless the town is Brighton, and Hove handily does all the work for you. making the move to a bigger city, Mino Kitchen.

Still in “trial opening”, the Brighton-based Japanese eatery’s Holborn second coming is a double-decker space arboreally appointed with wood walls & floors, a huge knotted-oak countertop fronting an open-flame charcoal grill, and even an actual tree. The chef personally heads to Smithfield/Billingsgate daily to procure foodstuffs for sushi/sashimi (yellowtail, scallop, sea urchin, sweet prawn…), plus bamboo-skewered robata like bacon-wrapped Ekoni ‘shrooms, minced beef w/ veggies, and chicken skin, a move Colonel Sanders would call “cutting out the middleman”. Lunch bentos — size-upgraded for dinner plates — are all grilled before your eyes, and pull in the likes of Scottish sirloin, teriyaki salmon fillets, sea bass grilled with olive oil, and garlic-chilli-soy “super tender” pork belly — if you’re going to share a prison cell with a pork belly, you definitely want it to be this one.

The bar’s got a wide variety of eastern liver-punishment: cocktails are coming, but for now there’s beer, wine, sake, chilled Shoshu (“Japanese vodka” distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, or yuzu) and “Umeshi” plum wine — which whether you live in a town, a city, or a…townty, should be just the thing to Brighton your day.

266-267 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EE +44 207 242 4350

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Samarqand

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 28-10-2010

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An elegant Central Asian bar & resto whose cushioned boozing area boasts finely crafted chess sets and whose five private rooms all rock plasmas, Samarqand’s Genghis-pleasing fare is all made using “ancient recipes and techniques” (bread from a traditional clay oven, etc). Feast on the likes of Besh Barmak (handmade pasta sheets boiled in meat broth, with salt beef & black peppered shallots), then wash it down with cocktails like the vodka/ ginger/ orange/ lemon/ rosemary/ sea-buckthorn Trans Siberian Express — which may think it’s the world’s longest train journey, but only because it hasn’t made the acquaintance of “planned engineering works”.

18 Thayer Street, London W1U 3JY +44 207 935 9393 samarqand-restaurant.com

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RiverPark

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 27-10-2010

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Venture to the far end of East 29th Street, and there you’ll find the latest from Tom Colicchio: an upscale seafood spot called Riverpark, serving up whole striped bass, octopus rolls with garlic mayo and views of the mighty East River through floor-to-ceiling windows. Views enhanced by a little garlic mayo.

450 E 29th Street (at 1st Ave), New York, NY +1 (212) 729-9790 riverparknyc.com

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