Historically, great chefs tended to run one restaurant business but no more. Modern chef-owners have too many creative ideas they want to pursue and too many creative staff chomping at the bit for new challenges. The solution? Spin-off venues and collaborations: restaurants, pubs, cafés and more, where fresh concepts can be explored but supported by a wider framework of experience, talent and resources. This can only be good for diners. Here are 10 spin-offs that, new or due soon, have olive excited about this wave of diversification.
10 restaurant spin-offs which have olive excited
Santo Remedio Café, London
Casual Shoreditch outpost for Mexican favourite
Inspired by famous Mexico City cafés of the 1940s, this all-day venue (sister to Edson Diaz-Fuentes and Natalie Feary’s London Bridge HQ) is whatever you want it to be. Drop in for coffee, have brunch then bounce, grab a take-out lunch or stay late for rounds of mezcal and new dishes such as braised ox tongue tacos.
Dishes £8.50-14.50; santoremedio.co.uk
Lilac, Lyme Regis
Robin Wylde’s laid-back cousin
Chef Harriet Mansell’s main restaurant, Robin Wylde, is a serious commitment (tasting menu £80). But at her bar-restaurant Lilac, you can dip in and out of its seasonal plates and low-intervention wines, casually. Dishes such as Fowey mussels or heritage beetroot and Driftwood goat’s cheese reflect Harriet’s love of West Country produce.
Plates £8-14; lilacwine.co.uk
Liverpool on a plate from Art School alumni
Co-owned by Bone and Block’s Harry Marquart and Art School chef-owner Paul Askew (with two Art School alumni, Kieran Gill and Jake Lewis, manning the pass), Barnacle – a new restaurant at handsome Duke Street Market – will attempt to weave a specifically Liverpudlian narrative into plates of soda bread and raw Wirral butter or Cheshire-raised pork with celeriac and Ormskirk cavolo nero. “The idea,” says Paul, a local legend who has been cooking for four decades, “is to tell Liverpool’s food cultural journey through its maritime history. My dad was a merchant navy captain, nicknamed ‘Barnacle’ Bill Askew, so he’d be off to bring back New Zealand lamb or Argentinian beef and, now, I’m the guy saying ‘buy local’. I’m trying to tell that story from globalised influences in cuisine to, now, local ingredients. Liverpool has become a hospitality hub. We want to show what it can produce. I want to make local artisan producers and good chefs Barnacle’s stars.”
Menus from £28; barnacleliverpool.co.uk
Koya Ko, London
Koya but quicker
This Broadway Market outpost of Shuko Oda’s Koya serves fresh udon bowls and donburi in a fast-paced, diner-slash-takeaway space. Inspired by Japanese train station food, there’s even a tachigui counter where you can stand to eat.
Mains from £7.20; koya.co.uk
Higher Ground’s wine bar debut
Hot pop-up Higher Ground has yet to announce a permanent restaurant location. But already it has spawned two spin-offs: Cinderwood Market Garden, a one-acre ‘regenerative farming’ project, and the low-intervention wine bar, Flawd. This bottle shop and bar has a tiny prep kitchen where chef Joseph Otway is working in dishes of whipped mackerel on toast, yellow pea dip with rhubarb hot sauce or raw squash with habanero and sea buckthorn, to encapsulate Higher Ground’s ultra-seasonal, sustainable ethos.
Plates £3.50-12; follow on Instagram @flawdwine
Sarap Filipino Bistro, London
Budgie Montoya moves up a gear in Mayfair
Spin-off restaurants tend to be more casual, a change of pace for high-end chefs. But Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya has gone the other way. First came Brixton’s Sarap BAon, restyled mid-pandemic as a fast-casual takeaway and counter-dining spot. Then, late in 2021, he headed to Mayfair to open Sarap Filipino Bistro. Continuing his mission to champion the sour, salty and sweet interplay of Filipino cuisine “in a modern progressive light”, Budgie’s menu will showcase, alongside plates of smoked aubergine salad with tomatoes and salted duck egg or grilled escabeche monkfish, the famous Filipino lechon: whole suckling pig stuffed with lemongrass, aromatics and truffled adobo pork rice (four to six people, £48pp).
Large plates from £20; saraplondon.com
The Plough, Shiplake, Henley-on-Thames
Orwells’ owners about to unveil their pub
At Orwells, chefs Ryan and Liam Simpson-Trotman create ambitious, modern food. Ryan leads the kitchen while green-fingered Liam grows much of the seasonal produce. The Plough, in contrast, will be very much a pub: family- and dog-friendly, and open all day. It’s due to launch in May.
Bakery banker from Where The Light Gets In
Chef Sam Buckley’s restaurant Where the Light Gets In revolves around historic techniques of artisan craft and very modern ideas about pushing flavour boundaries. This month, baker Rosie Wilkes will extend that outlook to Yellowhammer, WTLGI’s sister retail bakery (sourdough bread, sweet treats, etc). The space will also incorporate communal tables for weekend dining. Expect to find guest chefs exploring new ideas over extended residencies or Rosie, Yellowhammer’s co-owner, serving sharing platters of al taglio pizza and natural wines. “We don’t want to compromise on ingredients in any way,” she pledges, “that’s mine and Sam’s ethos.”
Pizza evenings from £10pp; Follow on Instagram @yellowhammer_stockport
Littleshop & Pantry, Bristol
The Little French’s little sister
Chef Freddy Bird’s deli-bakery, a pandemic spin-off from his Little French restaurant, recently expanded into next door. It now includes dining space for breakfast (Turkish eggs, latke and hot-smoked salmon), lunch and, at weekends, an evening menu of globally inspired sharing plates.
One Star Döner Bar, Manchester
Carters of Moseley star now creating kebabs
You know him as the one-Michelin-star force behind Birmingham’s Carters of Moseley, a restaurant where dishes such as “red deer, kabocha squash, medieval sauce” are portals into hyper-creative cooking locked into the ancient rhythms of seasonality, preservation and wild British food. But, as with all of us, there’s another side to Brad Carter. As he puts it: “At the end of the day, if I weren’t a chef, I’d be eating kebabs every day where I’m from.” Inspired by trips to Berlin, a city that treats shawarma seriously, Brad has launched One Star Döner Bar at Escape To Freight Island. It is, naturally, a uniquely cheffy kebab house, one where pide from a local Turkish bakery are stuffed with Cornish lamb or Tamworth pork mortadella and where the accompaniments include, variously, cavolo nero, roast garlic mayo and smoked chilli sauce.
Kebabs, £10; Follow on Instagram @onestardonerbar
More delicious diversions
Chefs, restaurants and food lovers innovating new channels for creativity
Bundobust Brewery Tap, Manchester
Marko Husak and Mayur Patel’s love of beer peaks at this brewery and restaurant. Drink the Dhania coriander pils or Chaitro nitro stout alongside amazing Gujarati snacks.
Plates £3.50-6.75; bundobust.com
Spring To-Go, London
Notting Hill deli-bakery offshoot of Skye Gyngell’s Spring restaurant, where you can take home anything from upscale ready meals to sandwiches and coffee.
Sandwiches, £6-8; Follow on Instagram @spring_to_go
Lunar, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent
New restaurant at the World of Wedgwood visitor experience, with menus created (think poached lemon sole with nashi pear and yuzu kosho) by Niall Keating, chef at Wiltshire’s two-Michelin-star Whatley Manor.
Large plates from £22; lunarwedgwood.com
Where’s Fred’s, London
Chelsea Finch adds low-intervention wines and evening sharing plates into the mix at this new ‘evolution’ of her District coffee shops. A fine flat white and great brunch dishes guaranteed.
Brunches around £7-9. wheresfreds.com
Ethicurean Provisions, near Bristol
Ever wanted to take home the Ethicurean’s ferments, vermouth or sticky toffee apple cake? Then rejoice, as it’s just launched a retail range (first for collection, soon mail order). This will include its welsh rarebit as a jarred spread. Get in!