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Growth in whiskey sector encourages sales of small-batch bourbon

This week we have been inspired by Pernod Ricard who are keen to abandon the ‘old man in slippers’ image that has often been associated with whiskey.

In a recent article Leonie Roderick  cited popular TV shows like Mad Men and Broadwalk Empire as having helped whiskey achieve newfound prominence.

We are delighted to learn that not only is whiskey growing in popularity, but is attracting a wider demographic than ever before. For the younger generations, whiskey is a tangible representation of disposable income and sophistication. According to Michal Addady, sales of American-made Bourbons and Tennessee whiskeys saw a 17% increase in 2015, and so began the whiskey renaissance.

The Garrison Brothers distillery in Texas is the oldest legal distillery of its kind and is the first to bring organic Bourbon to the UK. We have been chosen to represent the launch of Garrison Brothers whiskey in Europe, and are currently working on selecting bars, speaking to whiskey professionals, bartenders, drinks buyers, and restaurant owners about stocking the award winning bourbon. The grain is made from sweet mash, which has a naturally higher PH than sour mashes because of the fresh grain that is added each time. When the Bourbon matures in their casks the Texas heat increases evaporation resulting in a more concentrated taste. Finally, a little Texas rain water is added to proof the Bourbon. It is this extremely rare and bespoke process that has the potential to make Garrison Brothers a favourite in bars, restaurants and hotels across London, particularly those that specialise in bourbon.

In April 2013, the company launched their Cowboy Bourbon made from their ten best barrels which had been held back for release for nearly four years. Just 600 bottles of the unfiltered Bourbon went on sale as part of a limited release and led to them being named ‘American Micro Whisky of the Year’ in Jim Murray’s 2014 Whisky Bible.

Also a winner of ‘American Micro Whisky of the Year’, the 2016 Vintage of the Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey has already sold out. Nicknamed The Flagship, the small batch Bourbon contained lower levels of higher alcohols than any Bourbon on the market, thereby minimising the effects of your hangover; a win-win.

Single Barrel Bourbon

We are very lucky to have some of the exclusive 2016 Straight bourbon and on the 24th November are working in partnership with Texas Joe’s Restaurant for ‘A Very Texan Thanksgiving’, where we will be offering an ‘all you can eat’ menu of Texan dishes for £40 per head. The price also includes a welcome cocktail and a double-measure digestif of the award-winning Straight bourbon. The next release is in spring 2017.

For more info on Garrison Bros visit their website. For press information please do not hesitate to contact Penny Matthews


Shikumen Finchley Road Officially Opens Today

Shikumen NW3

We are delighted to announce Shikumen are officially launching their third restaurant in Finchley road today following a period of menu tasting and staff training. New menu items have been specially designed to celebrate their new opening including:

– Robata grilled dishes including Beef with Crunchy Chilli, Garlic and Sesame Seeds, Grilled Cauliflower with Black Sesame Truffle Sauce and Scallop Wrapped in Smoked Bacon with Miso Herb Butter.
– Four new Dim Sum platters (including one vegetarian) have been added to offer diners a more flexible way of trying Shikumen’s most popular Dim Sum dishes priced at £10.90, £15.90, £18.90 and £22.90 (dishes below).
– Crispy Grilled Eel & Seaweed Cheung Fun has been made a permanent dish on their menu following it’s success as a temporary special in their Shepherd’s Bush location.

Below you can find more details on location, opening hours, covers, menu details and quotes from previous reviews of their Shepherd’s Bush location.

If you would like further information on Shikumen Finchley Roadplease do not hesitate to contact Krista Booker

Shikumen Finchley Road
255 Finchley Rd

Opening Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11.30 – 23:00
Sunday: 11.30 – 23:00

80 including stool seating at full-height window overlooking Finchley Road

Menu Items:
Dim Sum Platters:
Vegetarian Dim Sum Platter (£10.90 p/p): Cong Mushrooms Dumpling, Steamed Vegetable Dumpling, Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Vegetable Shanghai Dumpling,  Three Style Mushroom Cheung Fun, Grilled Tenderstem Broccoli, Grilled Cauliflower.
Shikumen Dim Sum Platter (£15.90 p/p): Har Gau, Prawn Siu Mai with Pork, Crispy Aromatic Duck Roll, Baked Venison Puff, Curry Chicken Katsu on Rice.
Shikumen Dim Sum Platter  (£18.90 p/p) : Pumpkin Seafood Dumpling, Crabmeat and Prawn Dumpling, Scallop Siu Mai Topped with Tobiko, Chinese Chive Prawn Dumpling, Cong Mushrooms Dumpling, Prawn Cheung Fun, Phoenix Sesame Prawn on Toast, Crispy Aromatic Duck Roll, Golden Seafood Roll, Chilled Mango Pudding.
Shikumen Dim Sum Platter (£22.90 p/p) : Roasted Duck Bun, Pumpkin Seafood Dumpling, Crabmeat and Prawn Dumpling, Scallop Siu Mai Topped with Tobiko, Chinese Chive Prawn Dumpling, Mixed Vegetables in Teriyaki Sauce, Chicken Meatballs in Teriyaki Sauce, Miso marinated Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce, Baked Venison Puff, Golden Seafood Roll, Black Sesame Ball in Ginger Tea.
Dim Sum Menu:
Robata Menu:
Full Menu:

Evening Standard – Fay Maschler:
“Xiao Long Bao are a test of the skill of a dumpling chef and here they were delicately pleated, surely at least 18 times, lusciously drenched in stock, superb.”
The Times – Giles Coren:
“I rolled the dumpling into a spoon, nipped it with my teeth and drank the hot, rich stock…the soup dumpling was delicious”
Time Out London
***** (5 stars)
“Exquisitely steamed, baked, and fried dishes ranging from classic har gau and xiao long bao to more sophisticated items such as scallop siu mai topped with tobiko and cheung fun filled with prawn and beancurd skin. The latter was a revelation, each mouthful exploding into a sensual mix of sweet, briny flavours and crisp textures”
Mail on Sunday – Tom Parker-Bowles:
“The great xiao long bao, whose beautiful broth is only just contained by…miraculously thin pastry”
Financial Times – Nicholas Lander:
“We were here for the Peking Duck and the Dim Sum – and neither disappointed”

About Shikumen:
Michelin Bib Gourmand awarded Chinese fine-dining restaurant has a large flagship located in the Dorsett Hotel on Shepherd’s Bush Green (2014), a second smaller location in Ealing (2014) and now their third in Finchley Road (2016). Shikumen is so called after the traditional Shanghai stone house architecture of the 1940s whose stone gatehouses were influenced by Western traders as they made their way to the gateway to the East.


A Very Texan Thanksgiving | Bourbon & BBQ @ Texas Joe’s w/ Garrison Brothers

Texas Joes

For the very first time in London diners are invited to celebrate Thanksgiving the authentic Texan way at A Very Texan Thanksgiving. 

Garrison Brothers bourbon has partnered with Texas Joe’s restaurant to showcase  ‘the Texan way’ of slow-smoking turkey, chipotle glazing vegetables, adding jalapeños to cornbread and Texan-measures of bourbon. True to the tradition of celebrating ‘fall bounty’ the single priced menu of £40 per person is ‘all-you-can-eat’ including two Texas-sized shots of Garrison Brothers. 

The Hill Country Howdy with Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon is a delicious peach and peppercorn cocktail and the mix will be served separately to the bourbon so guests can choose to make the cocktail, try each individually or do both. Following the meal diners will be served a digestif of award-winning Garrison Brothers Straight Bourbon. Dishes in the menu are Smoked Turkey with Gravy, Bone Marrow Mash, Smoked Creamed Corn, Chipotle-Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Poblano Chorizo Cornbread Dressing and Pumpkin Pie.

Garrison Brothers is not only the first and oldest family-run distillery in Texas it is also the first to bring organic bourbon to the UK. Each wax sealed bottle is hand-signed and their Straight bourbon was named US Micro Whisky of The Year 2016 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible for the second year running. The bourbon has a kick (but no burn) with hints of butterscotch and caramel that pair wonderfully with the slow-smoke of Texas Joe’s.

Please see below the image for further information about Garrison Brothers, Texas Joe’s and full event details.

If you would like further information on Texas Joes or Garrison Brothers
please do not hesitate to contact Krista Booker

A Very Texan Thanksgiving
Date: Thursday November 24th
Time: Dinner will be served in one sitting (7pm until 9pm) unless demand requires a second sitting (9.15pm until late).
Location: Texas Joe’s, 8-9 Snowfields, SE1 3SU

About Garrison Brothers
What makes Garrison Brothers special?
– It is extremely rare to find in London
– Sweet mash is used instead of sour mash meaning fresh organic grain is used every time. It’s a home-made sweet mash that is gently copper distilled once so you can taste the flavour of the grain. The reason for using the sweet mash is clearly explained by Dan Garrison: “If you were going to make the freshest coffee possible, you would not reuse the coffee grounds from yesterday’s batch, would you? That is what the sour mash process is: re-using your grain to save money. Kentuckians are a cheap lot!”.
– The heat in Texas creates more angel share losses and has resulted in a more concentrated and pure taste, which is what makes it taste so different from regular Bourbons. The caramel is intensified; a 3yr old Bourbon can only be compared to 6yr old Whisky.

About Texas Joe’s 

Texas Joe’s Slow Smoked Meats bring the spirit of Texas to Bermondsey and feature traditional BBQ meats done ‘the Texan way’, plus a separate honky-tonk bar complete with jukebox, whisky, and tequila. The menu is strictly a Texas affair with traditional meats and cuts prepared simply with a heavy dose of smoke, salt and pepper. Meats are slow smoked over English oak from London Log Company in a custom 500-pound capacity rotisserie which has been painted in the colours of the University of Texas in Austin and nicknamed BEVO.

Ekachai to bring SE Asia to Flat Iron Square

Ekachai Dishes

We are proud to announce Ekachai restaurant is bringing South East Asia to Flat Iron Square with a specially designed rope-wrapped, bamboo-roofed, timber-clad kitchen serving authentic street food.

The Ekachai kitchen features a bespoke dumpling steamer, satay grill, stainless steel wok range and hammered metal cooking pot pendants that illuminate the service area. Their short menu is split into two sections with the best of classic Thai, Malay and Cantonese street food dishes focused on the wok cooking synonymous with hawker food from these regions.  Additionally a regularly changing Specials board will offer diners continued variety suited to the season. 
Wok Fried: Penang-Style Char Kway Teow, Nasi Goreng (served with spiced crackers and sambal chilli sauce), Pad Thai (served with peanuts, chilli and lime)
Little Plates: Prawn and Scallop Sui Man, Potsticker Dumplings (pork and ginger or vegetable), Chicken Satay Skewers.
Specials: Ikan Bakar (grilled fish with chilli paste in banana leaf), Butter Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk, Hainan Chicken Rice.
Drink: Fresh Green Coconuts opened to order.
We invited media guests to join us on the press preview day on October 19th prior to opening to the public on the 23rd:
9.30am-11am : complimentary Hong Kong breakfast of steamed dim sum and Chinese tea, an informal tour and introduction to the Ekachai kitchen and team.
6pm-9pm: complimentary tasting of our menu, informal tour and introduction to the Ekachai kitchen and team and drinks at the Flat Iron Square bar.

If you would like further information on Ekachai at Flat Iron Square
please do not hesitate to contact Krista Booker

About Ekachai:
Ekachai was established in Liverpool Street in 1999 by schoolfriends Thomas Tjong and Sidney Tsang from Hong Kong who could not find their favourite streetfood dishes in London. Today they have three London restaurants (Liverpool Street, Wandsworth and Selfridges) and looking forward to bring their authentic dishes to the new development of Flat Iron Square feeding the Capital’s continued appetite for traditional Malay, Thai and Cantonese dishes.
Ekachai Flat Iron Square:

Monday to Sunday

Ekachai Location:
Flat Iron Square Bankside
68 Union Street
London SE1 1TD

About Flat Iron Square:
London’s new food, drink and music hub opens to the public on October 20th.
Open Monday to Sunday 10am until late.
Live Events: Ben Lovett’s live music venue OMEARA with programming including indie club nights, to talks, comedy, burlesque, magic and more.
Bar: The Bar from Flat Iron Square serving wine and cocktails
Food line-up includes: The South West Social Club, Where The Pancakes Are, Bar Douro, Burnt Lemon Bakery, Baz&Fred, EDū, Carnitas, Laffa, Tatami, Savage Salads, Manti, Lupins sunshine food and Flea Market: Flea at Flat Iron Square.

“I wanted Londoners to be able to come to a place with a mix of great music, artisan food and bars, with a vibe of European urban outdoor markets and squares. A space that will keep evolving and visitors keep discovering. It is a large site so we are able to explore many things. We are looking at arts ideas and bringing in a flea market with vintage clothing and other interesting stalls. I started my first business, a mushroom farm, in these arches, so it is a fortunate and happy coincidence I am able to open them up again for a new venture following a great refurbishment by the Landlord, Network Rail”.
Benj Scrimgeour, Curator and Developer of Flat Iron Square

Celebrating 30 Years in London for Benihana

Benihana 30 Years

We invited guests to a celebratory dinner marking the 30th anniversary of Benihana UK on Tuesday 30th August from 6.30pm onwards hosted by Benihana CEO Keiko Ono Aoki at Benihana Chelsea.

While some London restaurants suffer from limited life spans, The Telegraph reported 1,200 restaurants went into administration in 2014, Benihana has stood the test of time since opening in Swiss Cottage in 1986. In the past 30 years the restaurant has firmly established their retro appeal with unchanged menus and flamboyant performances for diners in Piccadilly and Chelsea. Both locations frequently host royalty and celebrities; Princess Diana made regular visits for supper with the young princes to the Swiss Cottage restaurant and Michael Jackson and his entourage took over the entire King’s Road restaurant on a visit to the Capital. 

Promotions for Diners:
The public can celebrate this landmark at Benihana over the anniversary weekend with performances from the World Teppan Champions and for 30 days Rocky’s Choice Menu (named in honour of founder Rocky Aoki) will be available for £30 (full dates and details below).

The anniversary dinner will begin with drinks, an informal look at the history of Benihana and followed by dinner with a performance from the World Teppan Champions. There will also be interview time available with CEO Keiko Ono Aoki.

If you would like further information on Benihana’s anniversary
please do not hesitate to contact Krista Booker

Public Performances from The World Teppan Champions:
Benihana Chelsea: Dinner service on 30th August
Benihana Piccadilly: Lunch & Dinner services on 28th August

Rocky’s Choice £30 Offer:
Available for 30 days from September 1st until 30th
Rocky’s Choice is taken from the “Speciality Dinners” section of the menu and includes: 
Benihana Onion Soup, Salad with Ginger Dressing, Hibachi Vegetables, Prawn Appetiser & Steamed Rice, Hibachi Steak and Hibachi Chicken.

About Benihana UK – My Kitchen Is Your Table:
Rocky “Hiroaki” Aoki opened the first Benihana restaurant in 1964 in New York City. He is the pioneer of “Teppan-yaki” dining being the first to commercialise the homestyle Japanese method of cooking on a hot plate. Each restaurant provides a private chef to every table who creates the meal in front of the diners on the 360 degrees grill. The meals are served in several courses and the guests select the main component of their meal accompanied by an appetiser, soup, salad and sides. The menu also offers a selection of sushi and sashimi.

Chelsea: 77 King’s Rd, London SW3 4NX
020 7376 7799
12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm (10pm on Sundays)

Piccadilly: 37 Sackville St, London W1S 3EH
020 7494 2525
12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm (10pm on Sundays)


Shikumen Launches Selection of Coloured Xiao Long Bao

Shikumen Bao

We are proud to announce the launch of the new selection of coloured Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) at Shikumen, Shepherd’s Bush.

Shikumen’s XLB, also known Shanghai dumplings, have fast become their signature dim sum dish following praise from critics across the board. Fay Maschler wrote “Xiao Long Bao are a test of the skill of a dumpling chef and here they were delicately pleated, surely at least 18 times, lusciously drenched in stock, superb.” Giles Coren; “I rolled the dumpling into a spoon, nipped it with my teeth and drank the hot, rich stock…the soup dumpling was delicious” and Tom Parker-Bowles; “the great xiao long bao, whose beautiful broth is only just contained by…miraculously thin pastry”.

Now guests at the Shanghainese restaurant can try a new selection of four naturally-coloured varieties with individual fillings:

Yellow (coloured with carrot); Chicken and Cheese filling
Green (coloured with spinach); Crab filling
Pink (coloured with beetroot); Szechuan Spicy Pork filling
Black (coloured with bamboo charcoal); Lobster and Truffle
Diners can order a 5-piece selection to try one of each colour including the original Xiao Long Bao with Minced Pork.

If you would like further information on Shikumen’s new offering
please do not hesitate to contact Krista Booker

Coloured XLB & Pricing:
Yellow (coloured with carrot); Chicken and Cheese filling (£6.20)
Green (coloured with spinach); Crab filling (£7.80)
Pink (coloured with beetroot); Szechuan Spicy Pork filling (£6.20)
Black (coloured with bamboo charcoal); Lobster and Truffle (£8.80)
Diners can order a 5-piece selection of each colour (including the original Xiao Long Bao with Minced Pork) and this is priced at £12.80.

About Shikumen:
Shikumen is an affordable Chinese fine-dining restaurant with a large flagship located in the Dorsett Hotel on Shepherd’s Bush Green now in it’s second year of trading with a second smaller location in Ealing’s Hotel Xanadu.

Since opening Shikumen has received encouraging reviews online such as “(I) have been here three times now, what an amazing restaurant!…The duck is to die for, honestly the best Chinese in London”, “This is proper food, beautifully cooked, elegantly presented” and “If there is a better Chinese restaurant in this part of west London, I have yet to find it”.

Shikumen has also received positive praise from The Evening Standard (Fay Maschler), The Times (Giles Coren), The Financial Times (Nicolas Lander), The Mail on Sunday (Tom Parker-Bowles), Timeout (5 stars) and they have been awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand award for outstanding food at a reasonable price.

Shikumen is so called after the traditional Shanghai stone house architecture of the 1940s whose stone gate houses were the gateway to the East. Ingredients are carefully sourced to bring diners produce of the highest quality served for exceptional value for money and you will see this reflected in the pricing of signature dishes such as Peking Duck carved at the table and served in two servings (whole £48.50 half £26.50) and the homemade dim sum such as Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (£5.20), Fried Dough Stick Cheung Fun (£4.50) and Cream Custard Bun (£3.80).

Shikumen Shepherd’s Bush Address:
Shikumen Shepherd’s Bush
Dorsett Hotel
58 Shepherd’s Bush Green
W12 8QE

Benihana makes choosing between Lobster or Wagyu easy

Lobster & Wagyu

Lobster versus Wagyu is a hard decision to make however Benihana have launched a new lunch menu to prove that luxury can be affordable and such a decision should no longer be an issue.

For £17.90 diners can order the new Lobster Vs Wagyu lunch menu that includes lobster or Wagyu as well as accompanying miso soup, salad, seasonal starter (e.g. salmon ceviche), tempura, sushi and croquettes. This menu of outstanding value is available from noon until 3pm at Benihana Piccadilly and Benihana Chelsea (further details below).

Is this the best value lunch in London? We encouraged our guests to come and find out.

If you would like further information on the Benihana offer
please do not hesitate to contact Krista Booker

Rossopomodoro is 10! Celebrate with Us!

Rosso Invitation

In celebration of Rossopomodoro’s 10th birthday, a party will be taking place in their newly refurbished Chelsea restaurant on Wednesday May 25th from 7 – 11pm.

We are pleased to welcome Pizza World Champion Vincenzo who has designed a bespoke menu of ten special pizzas for our guests. There will also be a selection of ten wines, ten varieties of mozzarella flown in directly from Naples and ten Neapolitan food specialities including typical Neapolitan street food.

Since opening on Fulham Road on May 12th 2006 the authentic Neapolitan restaurant has opened a further seven locations across London and restaurants in Birmingham and most recently Newcastle.

If you would like further information on the birthday celebration and bringing guests
please do not hesitate to contact Krista Booker

Activity / Background

Highlights from new menu celebrating 10 years of Neapolitan Pizza:
Guaranteed 24 hour natural proofing of dough 
Introduction of Wholewheat Pizza
Increased range of “Under 500 Calories Pizzas”
Introduction of Fried Pizza 
Introduction of Pagnottielli  (stuffed pizza dough bun) 
Introduction of Fritto Napoletano (Neapolitan streetfood)
Introduction of Cuoppo Zeppole (Neapolitan streetfood)
Introduction of Pizza di Scarole (Neapolitan streetfood)
Introduction of 500g size of the the best Buffalo Mozzarella Naples can offer flown in twice weekly.

Customer Offer:
£10 bottle of Prosecco offer (rrp £25) to invite diners in all UK Rossopomodoro restaurants to join the 10th birthday celebrations.
Running for 10 days from May 10th. 

Interviews / Pizza Workshops:
For all aspects of the above we have full information available as well as interview time with chefs, Pizzaiuolis, and founder of Rossopomodoro Franco Manna.

London City’s Crowne Plaza has a little Makeover

Crowne Plaza

London City’s Crowne Plaza decided to make a few changes and we are excited to be apart of the process. 

The hotel is built on the site of Henry VIII’s Bridewell Palace by Blackfriars Bridge and has 204 bedrooms including four signature “British Suites” inspired by designer icons such as Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith. Uniquely the hotel is the only Crowne Plaza in Europe to offer multiple food and beverage outlets with three sites; Italian restaurant and wine bar Diciannove (formerly Locatelli’s Refettorio), Sichuan restaurant Chinese Cricket Club and late-licence cocktail bar Voltaire, built around original external vaults that served a bank and are now heated private dens with table service.

In recent months the hotel has undertaken extensive room refurbishment and welcomed new staff including General Manager, Food and Beverage Manager, Restaurant Manager (Diciannove) and ourselves as their new PR team. In view of the hotel’s new positioning we invited guests to the following events to introduce them to the new Crowne Plaza London The City:
Menu Development Sessions 
Join us for an insight into how menus are developed between restaurant and hotel departments. You will be part of the team that develops the dish, flavour, ingredients plating and also translating the dish to menu.
Dinner and drinks included, places limited.
11th April – Chinese Cricket Club 
12th April – Diciannove
6.30/7pm onwards 

Hotel Showcase
Your evening will begin with drinks in Voltaire, followed by a room and hotel tour. Canapés will be served in Chinese Cricket Club followed by a seated meal in Diciannove.
Plus ones welcome on this date.
18th April
6.30/7pm onwards

If you would like further information on these events
please do not hesitate to contact Krista Booker

Crowne Plaza London – The City offers travellers deluxe accommodation and convenient access to the city’s major business districts and landmarks.
Facebook: CrownePlazaLondonCity
Twitter: @CPLondonCity 
Instagram: @crowneplazalondoncity

Chinese Cricket Club – The restaurant is an authentic Sichuan restaurant that serves homemade traditional dishes, some unique to the London, and dim sum made with exceptional skill.
Facebook: chinesecricketclub
Twitter: @ChineseCClub
Instagram: @chinesecricketclub

Diciannove – Head chef Alessandro and his team welcome you into their authentic Italian Restaurant and Wine bar with generosity, warmth and charm.
Facebook: diciannove19
Twitter: @DiciannoveNo19
Instagram: diciannove19

Voltaire Bar – Try reinterpretations of classic cocktails & homemade liqueurs in the unique bar on site of Bridewell Palace Blackfriars. Private Vaults are available to book.
Facebook: /voltairebar
Twitter: @VoltaireBar 
Instagram: @voltairebarlondon