The Week in Food

Pour You
If you haven’t seen this on the toptable home page, we just had to point out that Stella Artois, who are absolute masters of tongue-in-cheekily taking themselves waaaaay too seriously, are sponsoring an international beer pouring competition, the Stella Artois World Draught Masters, this Thursday, 28 October, at The Old Billingsgate in London.  Apparently there are nine steps to pouring a perfect Stella Artois, and they’re bringing more than 30 bartenders from around the world together for a pour-off, judged by a panel of experts.  Only one will win the title ‘Créateur de Beauté’, become The Stella Artois World Draught Master and travel the world sharing the secrets of, er, pouring beer.   And we at toptable have loads of restaurants nearby to refresh yourself before or after.
18+ Only
Hallowe’en does bring out the dark side in all of us, even sweet little cake makers.  So the four-day-only opening this week of ‘Eat Your Heart Out & The PRETOX Potion’ pop-up shop from 28 – 31 October is perfect timing. It’s the world’s first 18+ cake shop, ‘pushing the concept that cake can never be offensive to the extreme’.  No dear, the ‘extreme’ element never finds anything offensive, except good taste.  But who cares, when the shop is selling 666 terrifying Hallowe’en creations from brilliant British cake-makers?  This is from the same folks who brought you the Mad Artist Tea Party events.  It’s in the dungeon of Maiden, 188 Shoreditch High Street, and it’s a shop, so it’s free.  As ever, we know restaurants nearby.
Hallowe’en Tricks and Treats
While we’re on the Hallowe’en theme, restaurateurs have cooked up a few ghoulish surprises and creepy treats to join in the fun.  Starting far in the past, the Medieval Banquet in Stepney is hosting a Vampire Ball on Friday night, Fright Night horror special on Saturday and a Hunky Punk Ball on Hallowe’en day.  Planet Hollywood has a scary themed menu for the 31s as well as face painters for the children. Be sure you bring home the right one.  Chicago Rib Shack in Knightsbridge offers party events all over the weekend with a specially themed menu with pumpkin pie.  Slightly farther up the food chain, Podium restaurant at London’s Park Lane Hilton is offering a spooky afternoon tea with not-at-all spooky Hallowe’en themed treats.  Archipelago in Fitzrovia already had an unusual menu that features crocodile and zebra and gnu and kangaroo.  Just for Hallowe’en, there’s a special side menu that includes bugs.
Top new toptable restaurants span the country this week, for once.
Revolution America Square on London’s Tower Hill is the place to head when you’re hankering for a revolutionary party or just a fine old time.  The vodka bar is terrific fun and the cheeky vodka-themed dishes make this a great spot for groups of friends or colleagues to chill out.
The Terrace Dining Room restaurant in Taplow in Berkshire has one of the greatest settings of any restaurant anywhere: Cliveden, the historic stately home.  With views of the parterre gardens and furnished with chandeliers and antiques, The Terrace Dining Room’s fine British menu makes this a restaurant for celebrations and special events.
Menu by Kevin Thornton in The Fitzwilliam Hotel is already Belfast’s most highly-acclaimed restaurant with a super modern interior, communal tables, great buzz and a fine modern European menu from a Michelin-starred chef.
Locks Brasserie in Dublin’s Portobello district – sister to the popular Pear restaurant – is modern classical in style with luxurious fittings and classic dishes that have been given a proper gastronomic makeover.  It’s a sure winner.
Back to the future, The Wright Brothers restaurant opens in Soho on 8 November.  It’s a relaxed, informal space with the freshest imaginable seafood prepared with simple expertise.