Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

We round up the the week’s restaurant news and latest sites offering takeaway and delivery, including Hakkasan’s Mexican eatery making an appearance in London, and a pizza pop-up from the team behind Lyle’s and Flor.

Main news

Half of operators expect to have 80% of sites open by September: According to data from CGA, 49% of hospitality operators are aiming to have 80% of their sites open by September. CGA surveyed a total of 400 operators this week, with 40% stating that they may have to close some sites permanently.

Third of diners to spend less after lockdown: Chef Marcus Wareing surveyed a total of 8,970 people, with 34% stating they intend to spend less when they go out. 54% said they would spend the same, while 11% revealed they would spend more. The survey also found that 31.4% were quite concerned about returning to restaurants post-lockdown.

The Restaurant Group to close 120 Frankie and Benny’s restaurants in the UK: Casual dining operator The Restaurant Group is to close 120 sites belonging to its Italian chain Frankie and Benny’s, putting up to 3,000 jobs at risk. In an email to managers seen by the BBC this week, the company said: “Many sites are no longer viable to trade and will remain closed permanently. The Covid-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we’ve taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now.”

New delivery and takeaway options

Bao: Steamed bun specialist Bao is extending its delivery radius to cover the whole of the UK. Its delivery-only brand Rice Error by Bao is currently only available to those living in London. Available to order throughout the UK from the beginning of July and priced at £20 per box, the meal kits allow diners to recreate popular dishes at home. These include the classic 12-hour braised pork bao, and daikon bao, with each box containing six ready to steam buns and accompanying ingredients.

Trullo: As reported by Hot Dinners, Islington Italian Trullo, sister restaurant to Padella, is to open a deli. The restaurant has bought the premises next door to the restaurant and plans to open the deli in the next two weeks.

Hakkasan Group: Restaurant group Hakkasan has become the latest to launch a delivery-only brand in London. The company is bringing Mexican restaurant Casa Calavera to the capital to deliver food across central London from this week. Featuring small sharing plates, the menu includes six types of nachos and a taco menu featuring achiote chicken with guacamole and red onion and chipotle beef brisket with fresh jalapeño and feta.

Elite Bistros: Gary Usher’s Elite Bistros group has launched a nationwide delivery service. Announced via Instagram, Usher will send out meal kits for customers to heat up and serve at home. He said that he will post accompanying videos on social media to explain what diners must do.

ASAP Pizza: The team behind Michelin-starred Lyle’s and Borough Market’s Flor are launching a pizza takeaway serviced. Called ASAP Pizza, the project will launch on 10 June and operate from Flor on Bedale street, offering click and collect and delivery services. Pizzas include Hawaiian (pickled scotch bonnet, red onion, grilled pineapple, cured pig’s cheek), Prosciutto, featuring a homemade prosciutto cotto from Gothelney Farm in Cornwall, and On and On, made with green onions, new season garlic, wild garlic, wild marjoram.

The Ledbury: Notting Hill’s The Ledbury has teamed up with Warren’s Butchers to offer a provisions box, which includes different meats and other essentials. These include a crown of aged duck stuffed with hay; muntjac, oatmeal and prune sausage; Duchess Farm wholemeal flour, truffle cream and Coombeshead Farm sourdough and cultured butter.

Dishoom: Bombay-inspired dining chain Dishoom is now offering a London delivery service operating out of its sites in King’s Cross, Shoreditch and Kensington. Dishes due to make an appearance include Vada Pau, Keema Pau, Chicken Ruby and the house Black Daal.

Lima: Peruvian eatery Lima London has launched a delivery service in partnership with Deliveroo. Dishes include the sea bream ceviche and slow braised suckling pig as well as finish-at-home Pisco Sours. The restaurant has also launched Barranco by Lima, a more casual dining concept set to offer Peruvian street food.

Coya Mayfair: Fellow Peruvian hotspot, Coya Mayfair, has launched a new lunch and dinner delivery service in partnership with Supper London, Uber Eats and Deliveroo. Highlights include wagyu bun with beef wagyu, mushroom and rocket; Chilean sea bass with rice, lime, chilli and papa seca; grilled Argentinian prawn with quinoa, asparagus and peas; caramel con chocolate – a salted caramel ganache served with Coya’s pisco blend and fresh raspberries. Also on offer will be ‘finish it yourself’ style cocktails available in three different sizes.

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