A niche coffee trend hits U.K. high street cafes
Caffè Nero has taken a speciality coffee trend mainstream by introducing espresso and tonic water to its menu — a combination credited to Swedish roaster Koppi, which put it on its opening menu in 2007. It’s already grown in popularity in the U.S. — whose coffee market has matured at scale faster than the U.K.’s and is more receptive to (and strongly financed for) innovation. As flat whites, pour over coffees, and cold brew have grown more mainstream on these shores, the intersection between ‘speciality’ coffee and U.K. chains has become more notable — brands looking to outflank each other with the latest, or in this case most warm weather-adjacent trend. While the drink is designed for lighter roasted espressos brewed for sweetness and acidity, Caffè Nero’s dark roasted coffee may lead to a clash of bitter on bitter with the quinine, though it claims “salted caramel and chocolate” flavours are the real thing. Like most things online, it’s proving divisive, with unconditional support playing serious doubt. Those looking for an alternative version of the drink in London’s coffee shops could head for Lyle’s, in Shoreditch; cold brew and tonic, meanwhile, must be stopped. [Twitter]
OK so this sounds quite uniquely revolting pic.twitter.com/Q7NoTdzeHG— Hugh R Wright (@HRWright) April 17, 2019
And in other news...
- Three-Michelin-starred restaurant Frantzén will collaborate with two-Michelin-starred restaurant Claude Bosi at Bibendum for a very starry one-off dinner on 7 May 2019. Fine dining-focussed critic Andy Hayler awarded the Stockholm restaurant several prestigious 20/20 dish scores in his most recent review, alighting on a rarely seen 19/20 overall.
- Uber Eats has redesigned its app in an attempt to make its record of your food’s journey from restaurant to door easier to follow. Reports reveal that the status update indicating that a restaurant has started preparing an order is, and has always been fabricated. [Fast Company]
- Italian restaurateur Andrea Reitano is the latest of his countrymen to question London’s Italian restaurants and cuisine. With two new restaurants due to open in Marylebone and Notting Hill respectively, Reitano says that the city has “a lack of authentic Italian restaurants.” For his part, those two new restaurants will fly fish in from the Mediterranean to fulfil the credentials he believes are absent elsewhere. [Big Hospitality]
- KFC hits back in the incipient large fried chicken platter pricing battle with U.K. supermarket Morrison’s by reintroducing ‘Chicken Tuesdays.’ 9 (nine) pieces for £5.99. [Daily Mirror]
- Don’t head for essential London restaurant 40 Maltby Street over Easter — it’s closed Saturday and Easter Sunday. Good Friday is a goer.
- René Redzepi is toying with reintroducing Noma’s celeriac shawarma to its summer menu, after it stole the spotlight on debut in Copenhagen. Yotam Ottolenghi will be watching developments closely from his restaurant, Rovi, in Fitzrovia. [Instagram]
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So we’re working on our vegetarian menu right now. Last years main course was this pictured celeriac shawarma (no meat at all in this). We only served it for 65 days. The original thought was never to put it on the menu again. But I’m a bit unsure, do you just retire a dish forever? or should it return for this years menu
- A new Instagram account devoted to ridiculing London members’ club and restaurant operator Soho House is kicking into gear. No mention of Cecconi’s, its Italian restaurant arm, or The Ned, its hotel stacked with restaurants, as yet. [Instagram]