The effect of Brexit on investment in the UK restaurant industry is “a softening,” rather than anything catastrophic, according to the just-released Harden’s survey, which also finds that the rate of independent restaurant launches has barely slackened over the past twelve months, though number crunching indicates that net openings were lower by 12%.
The survey, which quizzes 7,500 respondents, gold-starred recently three Michelin star-winning The Araki, Notting Hill’s tiny Marianne, Wandsworth’s Chez Bruce, Mayfair Indian restaurant Jamavar and Ben Chapman’s northern Thai-inspired grill bar Kiln. As interesting were a series of booby prizes, doled out to River Café (too expensive), Ivy Café (crap [sic] food) and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (slipping).
In contrast with the tradition-fearing yeomen of the 2018 Good Food Guide, which ignored everywhere, other than Bermondsey’s Restaurant Story, east of Mayfair, Harden’s — now in its 27th year — more than acknowledges the gastronomic shift eastwards, noticing that 39 out of 109 independent restaurant openings in central London this year sprang up in an E postcode. The survey also points to the growth of the restaurant scene in south London — typified by many recent openings in Peckham, Camberwell and Brixton.