Ape and Bird, Shaftesbury Avenue

Russell Norman’s latest restaurant/pub Ape and Bird recently underwent a “de-furbishment” and I’m not entirely sure why – I thought it was perfectly pleasant before. It’s now filled with loads of shared tables making it feel awfully cramped and they’ve plonked a huge pizza oven in the corner which looks like it’s been rented-in temporarily. We were seated at the bar which was topped with … Continue reading Ape and Bird, Shaftesbury Avenue

Polpetto, Soho

When Polpetto originally opened in a tiny room above the French House on Dean Street in Soho, it was my favourite restaurant. I remember osso buco and a steak salad with truffle dressing; the food was always brilliant. When it closed I was rather shocked, as I thought it would be there forever. Luckily for me however, Russell Norman (he’s The Restaurant Man on BBC2, … Continue reading Polpetto, Soho

The Ape & Bird Public House

Ape & Bird is Russell Norman’s latest venture and unlike his other restaurants (Polpo, Spuntino, Mishkin’s and soon to be opened Polpetto) this is a pub – and a very large pub at that. It’s situated in that bit of Cambridge Circus that’s always manically busy, right next to the Pizza Hut and it sits in the former site of the Marquis of Granby. They’ve … Continue reading The Ape & Bird Public House


Sandwiched between the sex shops and gay bars of Soho you’ll find an unassuming looking Spuntino – it’s quite easily missable as there’s no real sign (unless you have 20/20 vision). It’s owned by Russell Norman who also owns the Polpo collection of restaurants along with Mishkin’s. The restaurant is small and slightly squished and everything is very exposed and worn down – very trendy! … Continue reading Spuntino


Mishkin’s comes from the restauranteur legend and master of dark lighting, exposed brick and no reservations – Russell Norman. What makes this restaurant different from his others however (Spuntino and the numerous Polpo’s) is that you can book – hoorah! The other main difference is that Mishkin’s is ‘a kind of Jewish delhi with cocktails’. How very intriguing. The restaurant itself is a pretty little … Continue reading Mishkin’s