Bites: Dining goes back to the 1990s

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The Independent Online

The "retro" label is usually reserved for restaurants that summon up the spirit of the 1960s and 1970s, but since London looks set to come over all "I love the 1990s", it might be time for a rethink.

First up to claim the 1990s retro tag is Buddha Bar, which first opened in Paris in 1996; fast-forward 12 years, and this July it is due to arrive on the north bank of the Thames, near Embankment. Having become a lifestyle brand by selling millions of Buddha Bar-branded "Chill Out" compilations over the past decade, that 1990s feel will no doubt be all about ambience rather than its pan-Asian menu.

Next up is Saf, which has just brought big-in-California-in-the-90s "raw food" to London's Shoreditch. Uncooked, vegan-friendly and low-fat, raw food has a predictably large Hollywood following, including the actor Woody Harrelson, who, tenuously enough, was at his box-office biggest in the 1990s, and returned to form earlier this year in No Country for Old Men.