Single Concept Restaurants: Novelty or Non-entity?
They've been bubbling along, just skimming under the surface of our consciousness for a little while now and slowly we've all become accustomed to the wacky New York-based idea that is the single-concept restaurant: a joint specialising in one thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but they're definitely a draw. We've picked out some of the best.
Cereal Killers: Someone had to go and make a mint out of some puffed wheat and rice and cow juice, so it might as well be this beardy twosome. The London-based café sells over 120 kinds of cereal which you can mix with 30 different kinds of milk (no we do NOT want to speculate) and 20 different toppings. And it's £2.50 a bowl. Like we said, someone had to think of it.
Bubbledogs: This gourmet hot dog joint has stayed the course, mostly because of the killer combo of properly done hotdogs and Champagne. Choose from trad Currywurst to Philly Cheeze via a loaded breakfast dog and frankly we wish they'd start thinking about venturing outside the capital.
The Chicken Shop: Whole, half or quarter of a rotisserie free-range chicken. Spicy or smoky sauce. Sides. Done.
Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte: The name's longer than the menu. You get a green salad with their own walnut dressing, followed by steak frites. Well, actually you get two-thirds of a steak because they like to hold a third back so it doesn't get cold. It's a nice thoughtful gesture, but what kind of a madman would let steak go cold in the first place?
Oink: A rare venture outside the English capital, this Edinburgh-based porcine love-fest sell hog roast rolls. With all the trimmings including a much-appreciated haggis topping, cheese and chilli sauce, these are a large bite of porky heaven.
Arancini Brothers: Rice balls, innit? With falafel so 2008, this duo took on the mighty Italian risotto mob and serve their balls wrapped, stewed or stashed in boxes. Much like days of yore.
Franco Manca: There is no getting round it, this is still probably the best pizza on our little island. Sourdough bases, rare-breed meat, Italian mozzarella and tomatoes and about 5 choices on the menu. You can never get a table, you have to bruise your elbows trying to fold it into your mouth and you'll have change from a tenner. Amore doesn't even begin to cover it.
Burger and Lobster: The team behind the slightly scary, gender-dividing Goodman steak houses came up with this American-themed joint. It is also a little bit scary. But it's popular and their lobster comes with own-made brioche so it passes the test. (*runs for cover*)
The Bad Egg: We've covered this recently, so we'll just refresh your memory by saying Chef Neil Rankin, formerly of every meat joint in London, has turned his attention to chicken eggs and leave it at that.
Icecreamists: Protest icecream. The bloke behind Fathers4justice came up with this slightly out-there concept. Breast milk icecream? - So controversial they had to rename it (Baby Gaga become Baby Googoo - no it was nothing to do with content....). Ices laced with alcohol and stimulants. Bring. It. On.