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#WilkesWeekly – (19-Sep-2013) @Gymkhana_London, @ChottoMatte11, @BoLangChelsea



This is the fourth weekly update of “What’s happening?”, “What’s opening?”, “What’s new?” and “What’s good?”. This lists events, openings, streetfood, bars, plus anything interesting which has sprung up on my radar. It won’t be a comprehensive listing, as there are way too many in our great city and there are others already doing a great job of that right now.

NOTE: This update is a little late… I have a lot of respect for people who do these weekly updates. It’s not easy!


– Gymkhana (Indian Fine Dining – Mayfair) OPEN NOW
– Chottomatte (Japanese ‘Inspired’ – Soho) OPEN NOW
– Bo Lang (Chinese/Dim Sum – South Kensington) OPEN NOW

– Malaysia Week Festival – (Southbank nr Potters Fields Park)
– Design Festival (Southbank/Old Sorting Office)
– Street Art Exhibition “George the Dog, John the Artist” (Shoreditch)



Gymkhana (Indian Fine Dining – Mayfair)

Gymkhana - Starters

Gymkhana – Starters

(Opened Thu 12-Sep-2013)

This is a treat for fans of Indian Fine Dining. Gymkhana is from Karam Sethi, the chef behind Michelin Starred ‘Trishna’ in Marylebone. This Mayfair venue takes over the former site of Korean Restaurant Kaya. It is NOT horse themed, but it named after the Indian gymkhana sports clubs and decorated in colonial style. I visited for lunch on the opening day. Recommend the set lunch menu. Although I only had the “two course” £20 set menu I received a whole collection of dishes and left in a food coma.

Ad: 42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4JH (map)
Ww: www.gymkhanalondon.com | Tw:@GymkhanaLondon


(Opened Thu 18-Sep-2013)

Chotto-Matte opened this week in Soho. This 180 cover venue from Kurt Zdesar, restaurant consultant and the founder of Dim Sum chain ‘Ping Pong’, will focus on Japanese ‘inspired’ cuisine. The menu is designed by Hiroke Takemura who is an ex-Nobu and Zuma Chef.

I was not invited to this launch, however I have been informed by the street art community that this has been decorated by Japanese graffiti artist Houxo Que. During their construction they had work from London based street artists such as Captain Kris on the wooden hoardings outside.

Ad: 11-13 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4RB (map)
Ww: www.chotto-matte.com | Tw: @CHOTTOMATTE11

Bo Lang (Dim Sum – South Kensington)

Bo Lang - Soft Shell Crab

Bo Lang – Soft Shell Crab

Now Open

Bo Lang is the new Chinese dim sum restaurant and tea house from Head Chef and Dim Sum Master Kai Wang, previously of Novikov. The venue seats 60 covers and takes over the former pizzeria ‘Monello’. I visited on Monday to find an impressive selection of rare teas including a 1970’s Raw Puerh Supreme Tea and a Jing Jun ~Shan Silver Needle Tea… albeit at £25 and £30 a pot.

Ad: 100 Draycott Avenue, South Kensington, London SW3 3AD (map) ‎
Ww: www.bolangrestaurant.co.uk | Tw: @BoLangChelsea

FULL LISTING: If you like trying new places visit the Hot Dinners Coming soon page for a comprehensive listing.



– Malaysia Week Festival – special mention for Roti King
– Design Festival (Southbank/Old Sorting Office)
– Street Art Exhibition George the Dog (Shoreditch)

Malaysia Week Festival – FREE ENTRY, Southbank

(From Thu 19 Sep – Mon 23 Sep 10h00-18h00 daily)

I can’t find much first hand information about this event. However I did visit on Thursday to find a stage with lots of dancing, a ‘Roti Canai and Teh Tarik’ show (The Malaysian equivalent of Italian pizza throwing skills and flair bar-tending with hot tea).

Unfortunately I can’t find an official website for the event. For more details: www.coinstreet.org/whatson/…/faces-of-malaysia.html

Ad: Southbank, next to Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2AA (map)
Ww: www.coinstreet.org/whatson/…/faces-of-malaysia.html Tw: #MalaysiaWeek

London Design Festival (Events across London)

(Thu 18 – Sun 22 Sep)

As part of London Design Week there are multiple events happening in the capital. I visited two locations. The Design Junction and in Oxford Street which has traders from Real Food Festival on the ground floor, a pop up bar from Camden Town Brewery and Barbacoa serving on the second floor of the Old Storting Office on New Oxford Street.

DESIGN JUNCTION (Until Sun 10h00-16h00)

“Designjunction, which last year attracted more than 17,000 visitors, will showcase the very best in furniture, lighting and product design from around the world, presenting an edited selection of leading global brands and emerging enterprises. designjunction showcases design against a stunning industrial backdrop, striking a balance between creative and commercial, while offering a much-needed alternative to the traditional trade show.” – Source: http://thedesignjunction.co.uk/about/

The Design Junction is three floors of design with a heavy bias towards lighting and furniture. Queues on my visit on Friday were surprisingly long. My main interest was the street food on the ground floor. If you visit, I recommend the steak sandwich from Community Kitchen at the far end of the food stalls.

Ad: Old Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1BA (map)
Ww: thedesignjunction.co.uk | Tw: @_DesignJunction

DESIGNER BLOCK (Until Sun 10h00-20h00)

“Designersblock and Southbank Centre have collaborated to announce their second joint venture for the London Design Festival 2013. Both parties are working together on a larger collaboration with new and exciting activities- from the Designersblock events, to new design and cultural activities, including retail opportunities and markets.”

“Designersblock itself will take place in an expanded series of spaces across Southbank Centre, featuring more exhibitions, special events, workshops, activities, installations and projects from over 200 UK and international designers.”

– Source: www.verydesignersblock.com

I visited the exhibition area to the East of Royal National Theatre, although there is no food inside, there Canteen London team have set up a mobile unit in conjunction with the British Transport Museum to serve pie and mash and marmite & cheese pastries.

Inside look out for Journey Woman by Xenia Moseley (who learnt skills from a wool-spinner, cobbler, boat builder, basket-weaver, and upholsterer to used the skills to create handmade boats); Transforming the Ambiguous by http://www.giovannimarmont.com – strange conceptual furniture; Beth Lewis-Williams (who has hand crafted ceramic lampshades with intricate landscapes of London); and “Typewriter Artist” Keira Rathbone (who creates art using old typewriters).

Ww: www.verydesignersblock.com/…/designersblock-london-2013/ Tw: @designersblock/

London Design Festival
Ww: www.londondesignfestival.com | Tw @L_D_F

Street Art Exhibition: George the Dog, John the Artist (Shoreditch)

John Dolan is an artist who draws landscapes on Shoreditch High Street documenting the surrounding area. This ‘solo’ exhibition is in fact a collaboration with famous street artists like Stik, ROA, Thierry Noir, Zomby, C215, RUN and many others. Each street artist has taken a Dolan sketch and embellished it with their own signature style. I attended the opening night which was punctuated by shouts of “GEORGE COME ‘ERE” as George the Dog mingled with the guests.

Ad: 189-190 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6HU (map)
Ww: howardgriffingallery.com | Tw: N/A

FULL LISTING: For a detailed listing of pop-ups see the excellent weekly newsletter by London Pop-ups



London is an awesome city for events. I am asked what is happening a lot. There is no way I can cover everything happening, however there are several good sites to use, depending on what you’re seeking.

Best for… Restaurant Openings: “Coming soon” by Hot-Dinners
Best for… Pop-Up Events: “Weekly Newsletter” by London Pop-ups

All Images & Content ©2013 Wilkes McDermid.
May not be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission

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