Street Feast’s Canary Wharf venue Giant Robot may be named after a tin machine but it has passionate Latin fare at its heart.
It opened at 11am on Wedneday, April 12 with four traders, including east London favourite José Pizarro.
The Spanish chef is opening his fourth restaurant here, Little José, serving up dishes that will be exclusive to the Crossrail Place venue.
They include an Ibérico pork meatball sub with manchego cheese, crispy fried squid sandwiches with aioli, spicy prawn fritters with lime mayo, side dishes of patatas bravas and padrón peppers and a daily-changing tortilla.
José learned his trade at restaurants such as Eyre Brothers, Brindisa and Gaudi before opening his first solo restaurant José Tapas Bar in Bermondsey in 2011, followed by Pizarro Restaurant and José Pizarro Broadgate.
He started out with a team of eight and now employees 100 people, with a team of 17 coming to Canary Wharf aiming to satisfy the hungry lunch and dinner crowds.
He said: “My customers love José, with its cosy feel and its simple small plates. I wanted to recreate that vibe here at Little José - but also take the traditionally boring lunchtime ‘sandwich’ and give it a 21st century makeover.”
He become involved in Street Feast as he is a member of London Union , a company founded by Leon’s Henry Dimbleby and Street Feast’s Jonathan Downey to help food entrepreneurs.
“When they asked me to be involved in this I said yes straight away.
“The venue is so amazing and we have given out section a Spanish feel with beautiful tiles.
“But the main thing will be the nice smells coming from the kitchen of course.”
Foodies will recognise José from programs such as BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and Rick Stein’s Christmas on BBC1.
And visitors will get the chance to meet the chef as he will be there at least once a week cooking and chatting to customers.
“There is this idea that people in Canary Wharf are very serious and straight-faced,” said the chef who lives in London Bridge.
“But they are not stupid people, paying stupid money for stupid food.
“They know what they want and I respect that.
“I was there yesterday sitting at Roka with a glass of Champagne and watching everyone go by. It is so busy here and fun. I love it.
“The food offering has changed a lot and is only getting better.”
Little José will also serve drinks including cava, wines, sherries and Jose’s perfect gin and tonic.
Giant Robot is Street Feast’s first all-week venue open 11am to late and will also feature traders Yum Bun, Bob’s Lobster and ThunderBird, a 360-degree Island Bar serving cocktails and a 38-tap craft beer bar.
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