Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

We round up the latest restaurant news, from the re-opening of hospitality outlets in some countries, to a string of new London restaurant delivery options, including a whole rotisserie chicken.

UK government advice: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that some hospitality outlets in England could open as early as July. The government later clarified the situation, stating that those venues where it would be difficult to operate social distancing would not reopen at this time. Guidance has also been issued as to how companies should best operate takeaway services, which restaurants are permitted to do under lockdown laws. Businesses must reduce the contact between kitchen, front of house and delivery staff, and customers must wait in their cars for food where possible. Hygiene must be paramount, while contact-less payment is encouraged where possible.

Australia and Austria: The hospitality industries in parts of Australia as well as Austria re-opened today (15 May). Pubs in Australia’s Northern Territory opened their doors for the first time in two months, while restaurants and bars have reopened in Austria, albeit with strict social distancing measures in place.

Im Schiffchen: The chef at Düsseldorf’s Im Schiffchen has faced an online backlash after comments he made ahead of the reopening of his eatery. French chef Jean-Claude Bourgueil posted the message: “We start on Friday, but only with our bistro. No Chinese wanted!!!” on Facebook this week. He has since apologised for his “thoughtless statement” that was “formulated completely wrong”. He said the post was not intended as a racial slur. He added: “People of nine different nationalities work at our restaurant. My wife is Asian and I myself am a foreigner in this land. Rest assured, I can be accused of many things, but certainly not racism, and I do not tolerate it.”

London restaurant deliveries: A number of London restaurants have expanded or started offering deliveries this week. Among them is the JKS Restaurants group, which owns Michelin-starred Gymkhana and Indian eatery Brigadiers. Both sites began offering delivery for the first time this week. Some of the group’s other sites including Trishna, Hoppers, Berenjak and Motu are expanding their delivery options. The group is also launching new delivery-only brands, including Rice Error by Bao which is now live.

Also new on the restaurant delivery scene is Michelin-starred wine bar and restaurant Leroy in Shoreditch, which like JKS, has unveiled a delivery-only brand called Royale. The brand offers quarter, half, and whole rotisserie chickens, served with salads, potatoes and dips. Meanwhile one-dish eatery Le Relais de Venise has branched out, serving its signature steak, chips and salad in a baguette. It is available to collect from the restaurant or order via Deliveroo.

Chef and restaurateur, Adam Handling, has also launched a new food delivery and collection service, called ‘Hame’, the Scottish word for home. The menu includes popular dishes from Handling’s restaurant group including his cheese doughnuts, fried chicken, and whole lobster with carrot and lemongrass. There’s also a family-sized beef wellington with clotted cream mash.

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