’88 by Bistrotheque’ pop-up restaurant, London
Aside from fashion going into shoulder-padded overdrive, Kylie’s album topping the charts and Beetlejuice hitting our screens, 1988 was also the year that the towers of Canary Wharf began to rise. So it’s an apt choice of annum for Bistrotheque to take us back to with its new pop-up restaurant in the London development.
Visitors to ’88 by Bistrotheque’ can expect an all-immersive experience. Based in a building slated for demolition next year, the five-nights-only eatery’s interiors are inspired by the short-lived but influential 1998 youth TV show, Network 7, complete with neon tubing and Venetian blinds. Waiters will come dressed in clothes from the period by designers like Thierry Mugler and Katharine Hamnett - with Giles Deacon also recreating some of the looks of the time - and on the sound system will be solely 1988 hits.
The menu, of course, features more wonders from the time, inspired by the handiwork of then leading chefs, like Alistair Little - known as the Godfather of modern British cooking - and the River Café’s Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray. 1988 was the year that saw exotic produce arrive on UK shores, as well as Italian oils and vinegars, with chefs beginning to celebrate robust flavours and give the produce the lead role, as the restaurant’s menu reflects. Expect dishes like coquelet with lemon and herbs, and crisp polenta with ricotta, grilled courgettes, rocket and parmesan, washed down with many a glass of champagne.
Set up by Pablo Flack and David Waddington, Bistrotheque virtually invented the pop-up phenomena when it opened The Reindeer on Brick Lane in 2006, a temporary restaurant that attracted over 20,000 people in just 23 days, and follows hot on the heels of last year’s beautifully pitched Studio East pavilion, atop the parapet of the under-construction Westfield Stratford City. This time, those that don’t live east can arrive in style aboard the daily speedboat service from Westminster Pier.