Now you see 'em...pop-up eateries are the latest flavour
Sunday 13 November 2011
Temporary restaurants have become a permanent feature of the global dining scene.
Appearing for a few months in a pub or vacant space, one day a week in a private home, or for a few days during a food festival, the format is as infinitely flexible as it is exciting.
Last July, Washington's top chef, José Andrés, opened the six-months-only America Eats Tavern (001 202 393 0812; americaeatstavern.com). A tie-in with the "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?" exhibition at the National Archives about the role of government in America's food, the restaurant serves "forgotten" dishes such as Hangtown Fry – oysters, eggs and bacon – and Kentucky Burgoo, a stew with rabbit, squab and lamb.
Until January, a vacant city-centre site in Belfast has been transformed into Home (07936 292502; homepopup.com), a collaboration between Mourne Seafood Bar and the ReFound Artist collective. Food at the BYO restaurant has been developed by acclaimed chef Andy Rea and will include local herb-roast chicken with Irish-style cabbage, potato sauce and bacon bits.
The Shy Chef (theshychef.word press.com) in Berlin is a regular, peripatetic secret supper club staged in various homes in the bohemian district of Kreuzberg. As the name indicates, the chef's identity is a secret, but his or her global travels are reflected in five-course set menus matched with wine that might include asparagus cappuccino; scallops with an orange sauce, pancetta and leeks, and milk chocolate crème brûlée with warm berries.
Singapore Takeout (facebook.com/SingaporeEats) is a pop-up restaurant within a shipping container on a year-long voyage around nine major cities. Next stop will be Shanghai on 1 to 3 December, when Willin Low, the chef at Wild Rocket, will be showcasing modern Singaporean cooking, with dishes that might include blue swimmer crab consommé and congee and sea-bass carpaccio with yuzu dressing and arugula.
Named after Wellington's airport code, WLG restaurant (wellingtonnz .com/wlg) is popping up in Melbourne until 27 November. Five of New Zealand's brightest cooking talents will serve specially created tapas-style sharing dishes, showing off the best New Zealand produce, paired with wines from Martinborough, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Hawkes Bay.
The Young Turks chef collective has recently begun its three-month residence at the historic Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields, London (07530 492986; youngturks.co). The four-course set menus are composed of ingredients sourced from a network of small producers and "bring vegetables to the fore" in dishes such as green radish and squid, malted rye porridge, brussel sprouts and duck egg, and chestnut mousse, pear and honey granita.
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