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Thu 6th Sep 2018 - Good Food Guide highlights rise in upfront charging, Sticks 'n' Sushi to open biggest site
Rise of restaurants charging up front among trends highlighted by Good Food Guide as Outlaw tops list for second year running: The rise of restaurants charging up front and vegetarian and vegan menus has been highlighted in the Good Food Guide 2019. The sixth edition of the guide, published by Waitrose & Partners, looked at some of the key trends shaping the industry as chef entrepreneur Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant in Cornwall was crowned number one for the second year in a row. It pointed to the increase in popularity this year of the concept of pre-payment. It said customers paying for their meal up front, as they do with theatre or concert tickets, was a sensible idea and was particularly popular with certain high-end eateries and those offering set menus, “putting the responsibility of an empty table in the hands of the diner rather than the restaurant”. It noted the rise of the vegetarian and vegan menu and for the first time the guide has highlighted those venues “worth a visit” for their vegetarian and vegan offering. More restaurants are also showing a willingness to transform what might have once been described as food “waste” into things to eat, a trend the guide predicted was set to continue for the foreseeable future. Finally, while the majority of restaurants are keen to ensure diners can easily browse menus, providing service when the need for assistance occurs, some eateries are still baffling them with “incomprehensible” menus. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac achieved a perfect score of ten for the third year running, edging out Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume and new entry Core by Clare Smyth, which also received the top score. Outlaw came top thanks to his “confident cooking” and “knack for deploying first-rate seafood to its ultimate advantage”. The restaurant was noted for having a “refreshing lack of pomp”, with a tasting menu that is “ingenious in its simplicity, yet continues to surprise”. This year’s Best Local Restaurant category went to The Old Bank in Snettisham, Norfolk.

Sticks ‘n’ Sushi to open biggest restaurant as company fulfils King’s Road ambition, eighth UK site: Japanese restaurant brand Sticks ‘n’ Sushi will open its eighth UK site, in Chelsea next month featuring its debut “restaurant within a restaurant” private dining space. The three-storey restaurant in King’s Road will be its largest to date when it launches on Monday, 1 October. It will accommodate 220 guests with the interior playing on the themes of light and dark, with each floor having its own distinctive identity. The focal point of the 90-cover ground floor will be an open kitchen island with counter seating. The kitchen will be visible from the high banquettes and lower table seating around the room. Upstairs on the first floor, counter seating, low banquettes and tables will offer a variety of spaces. There will also be larger booths and a long communal table, a familiar fixture of Sticks ‘n’ Sushi since it was founded in Copenhagen in 1994. The basement of the Chelsea restaurant houses a first for the group – The Kings Room, a 26-seat “restaurant within a restaurant” private dining room equipped with its own kitchen, cocktail bar and dedicated team. Guests booking the room will be able to choose bespoke menus prepared for them by their own chefs and choose their own music separate from the rest of the restaurant. Sticks ‘n’ Sushi will also offer its complete menu to take away. Founder Kim Rahbek said: “Ever since my brother Jens, brother-in-law and partner Thor Andersen, and I first came up with the idea for Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, we’ve said one day we would open on the King’s Road. For us it’s the epitome of everything that’s great about London, from the ‘swinging sixties’ to the present day – it has never gone out of style. So to be opening here this year is a dream come true for us.” Group chief executive Rod McKie added: “We are delighted to be opening the largest Sticks ‘n’ Sushi anywhere to date on the world-famous King’s Road. With its many different dining and bar spaces as well as our first ‘restaurant within a restaurant’ for private dining, we’re bringing a new style of Sticks ‘n’ Sushi experience to Chelsea.”

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