Food blog: Tamarind; StreetXO; Avenue
★ Flavour Spy | Tamarind
Walking down the stairs at Tamarind, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled into a Mayfair art gallery. But the subtle decor and lavish floral displays aren't there to conceal something awful.
Attending an event in celebration of its 18th birthday (there's an £18 menu available until January 31) I note there's plenty to satisfy the unadventurous - chicken tikka masala et al - but it's worth delving deeper.
My companion and I particularly relished potato cakes with garlic and herbs, garnished with a piquant tamarind sauce and perfectly judged lamb chops marinated in papaya, turmeric and anise.
Booze-hounds will delight in the chilli berry mojito and the delicate rose petal and lychee martini, pictured.
Tamarind, 20 Queen Street, London, W1J 5PR, tamarindrestaurant.com
★ Opening | StreetXO comes to London
Following a successful collaboration with Canary Wharf's Iberica in 2012, David Muñoz, chef and creator of Madrid's three-Michelin starred DiverXo is gearing up to bring his street-food inspired StreetXo concept to London in June.
His first restaurant outside Spain, Muñoz will open in Mayfair for 14 hours each day in premises centred around an open kitchen.
The menu is likely to feature 12 to 14 dishes and will be refreshed on a regular basis.
Read our review of Muñoz at Iberica here.
Go to diverxo.com.
★ Chef news | Avenue appoints head of kitchen
Those with eyes keenly focussed on the City may be aware that D&D, which operates Plateau in Canary Wharf, is gearing up for a big re-launch.
Avenue in St James' Street, will re-open "soon" with a distinctly American feel.
Yank Michael Blizzard has been named head chef and has been working to create a menu stuffed full of US favourites.
Expect burgers, corn crab, pig loaf and an extensive selection of craft beers on the side.
Go to avenue-restaurant.co.uk