Great food suburbs always bounce back, and there's nowhere more rubbery at the moment than Paddington. Despite a rash of high-profile arrivals in the postcode, there's still a yawning Eastern food gap in the suburb. Former China Diner and Chin Chin chef Jack Steer is hoping to fill that gap with a new restaurant opening in May. "There's so much Italian and French, we'll be the only higher-end Asian," the young chef says of East London, which will slide into the top floor of the The London Hotel.
The 80-seat restaurant, which is getting a design scrub by Humphrey & Edwards architect Chris Grinham, will focus on the regional cuisines of Shanghai and Sichuan. The young chef wanted to offer a healthy brand of Asian, so steered away from the sweetness of south-east Asian towards more spice-based cuisines. He's working on a lamb neck dish with rehydrated tofu skin and a salad of cucumber and bean shoots for the opening menu. East London will chart its own drinks path as well, the cocktail list to lean on Asian-infused drinks.