FOOD&DRINK London Lite Wednesday, 28 October 2009 25 getsamakeover Litebites Foodanddrinknews TorodeisthemasterofLuxeenterprises THE LUXE, to paraphrase the M&S ad, isnt just a restaurant, its a four-storey complex slap- bang on Spitalfields Market. Its a trick that owner, TV chef John Torode, has already pulled off with aplomb with his Smiths at Smithfields Market. This new outpost has The Kiosk, which sells bacon sarnies and hot dogs. Theres a dive bar promising everything from live bands and DJs to fizzy pop. Theres the already popular ground floor enticing punters with beer, cocktails, chunky chips and chunky chairs, a penthouse private dining room and even a Huge: The Luxe is part of a four-storey complex in Spitalfields Market florist. And then theres the first- floor restaurant, decorated with Japanese-print silk wallpaper and tables groaning with fresh chunky bread, bowls of chutney, organic lemons and ice buckets of champagne. I loved my plate of frogs legs and chicken shanks (8.50) with a red wine reduction and peppery leaves. The 10 smoked eel special was equally thought-through, its coldness made cosy by a warm bed of potato pancake. But it all went a bit apples and pears with the mains. It wasnt that my 29 wood-roasted turbot was awful, but it was too rich -- the oil and butter instantly coating my mouth -- and the fish a touch overcooked. And while we couldnt grouse at the portion size of a 27 roast grouse, we didnt love its toughness and over-bitter taste. But we were soon smiling again. The manager not only listened to our complaint, he sliced the turbot off the bill and threw in a big brandy. Cooking may get better than The Luxe, but Torode knows how to concoct a winning enterprise. LARUSHKA IVAN-ZADEH THE LUXE 109 Commercial Street, E1, 020 7101 1751; 3 courses for two, wine and service, 110 JointheWineGang ITS not too early to start buying the Christmas booze. Those looking for wine bargains and recommendations from Britains finest noses should visit the inaugural Wine Gang Christmas Fair. Tickets for the 7 November event at Vinopolis cost 20, or 12.50 for Wine Gang members. Sign up at thewinegang.com and see vinopolis.co.uk All fun and game WE MAY have found our desert island menu. Its at Kitchen W8, the new venture from Philip Howard, of Mayfairs two Michelin-starred Square. Coming out of the Kitchen are such joys as game consomm with a mini game hot dog, 8, squid ink linguine with cuttlefish and lemon, 10.50, and rump of veal with sptzle and chanterelles, 17. 11 Abingdon Road, W8, 020 7937 0120 Checkout churros ANYONE whos had a late night out in Spain will be familiar with churros -- that delicious snack of cinnamon-dusted doughnuts dipped in hot chocolate sauce. Great British Menu judge Oliver Peyton loves them so much hes put them on the menu at his new Espresso Bar at the British Library, alongside a choice of eight single estate coffees, all roasted on site. 96 Euston Road, NW1 Canteen parks up A NEW branch of modern British caf chain, Canteen, joins The Parlour and Roka at Canary Wharfs so-hot-right-now Park Pavilion. Open daily from breakfast until late, the new Canteen serves its tasty fish and chips, daily roast and pie specials and for the first time, its all available to take away. 40 Canada Square, E14, 0845 686 1122 HILARY ARMSTRONG Wellequipped Half-pint mug Emma Bridgewater Polka Pumpkin Half- Pint Mug KIT OUT your home for Halloween with this pumpkin mug from the queen of cute kitchenware, Emma Bridgewater. Limited edition for Halloween. 15.95, emma bridgewater.co.uk than elsewhere, has unshowy classics. Fish is quite a main course focus with sayadieh (baked rice and fish), 16.95, and red mullet with spiced lentil sauce, 18.50. A full selection of takeaway wraps (from 3.95) and mezze (2.50-6.50) is also available. 2/3 Beauchamp Place, SW3 (020 7581 4296) 1001Nights THE name conjures up (Middle) Eastern promise; so does the glam decor. The blingest of the 2009 breed of Lebanese eateries comes from fine stock, being sister restaurant to 30-year-old Fakhreldine, below which it lies. Here the classic Lebanese cuisine is served in a less formal setting and without the wallet-walloping bill. Breakfast is manoushe, a Lebanese pizza topped with feta, sesame and olive oil, with shawarma wraps and mezze for lunch and some nice fishy options for dinner including frike samak (mullet, bass and calamari with smoked green wheat). Go to toptable.com for their current offer way to explore the menu. Wed also tip the tea pots of DelAziz grog (Moroccan rum punch), 10 for three servings, and the Lebanese date cocktail, 7. Moroccan and Lebanese wines cost from 16.50. delaziz.co.uk of 50 per cent off food and a free glass of wine (before 6.30pm). 85 Piccadilly, W1 (020 7629 4440) DelAziz THIS chains branches (Fulham, Bankside, Swiss Cottage, Westfield, Bermondsey Square) offer confident, contemporary cuisine, taking in North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Try hummus burger, 5.50, saffron- scented chicken kebab, 5.50, tagine of monkfish with cinnamon, 14, or even Parma ham-filled ciabatta, 5.75. Mezze dishes (3.50-7.50) are a good Share delight: mezze dishes at Comptoir Libanais are great to enjoy with friends; left, a lunch of delicious Beirut street food at Yalla Yalla is a must for Soho media folk index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html