Amy and I were lucky enough to go to the opening of the new Cha Cha Moon, at Whiteleys in Bayswater last night. Cha Cha Moon is a fast and casual Chinese noodle bar, with most dishes costing a credit crunch friendly £3.50 and is the latest culinary foray of restaurant supremo Alan Yao. It has been designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the designer of Z58, which Camron launched in Shanghai and who also designed Yau’s pricier establishment in St James’s – Sake No Hana. With its undulating bamboo ceiling, redolent of Kuma’s much celebrated Bamboo House, the restaurant is a triumph and feels very up-market.
I bumped into Damien Hirst at the launch of his latest retail venture Other Criteria at 14 Hinde Street, W1. He was expansively showing guests round the new shop, which doubles as a gallery, while keeping a mobile phone clamped to his ear! Other Criteria is a small but perfectly formed space filled with books, prints and affordable objects which have been designed or created by many of Hirst’s YBA contemporaries, such as Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume.
I went to Dover Street Market on the weekend to collect a copy of LOVE, Katie
Grand’s new highly anticipated magazine. There is an installation on a bed,
surrounded by bespoke products to accompany the magazine’s launch. I am not sure what I was expecting, but this is a collector’s item. Her fresh approach to photographing celebrities takes your breath away, together with the sentiment behind it. She ends her first Editor’s letter quoting Anjelica Huston, ‘Nobody ever falls in love with you when you look great. It’s a rule. The real ones love you when you are you.’
Prada and Gagosian’s tag-team brought the fashion and art crowd to Carsten Höller’s Double Club Congo Prada party, which created a dialogue between Congolese and Western contemporary music, lifestyle, arts and design.
The Art world’s Takashi Murakami and Larry Gagosian held court in the Western art-filled Restaurant while Olympia Scarry and Melissa Odabash drank Congalese beer at the neon Western Bar. Music was a mix ofWestern Pop with Congolese Rumba and we loved the cultural fusion of the night.
Despite never having been a true connoisseur of roadside cuisine, I was very excited to try out Heston Blumenthal’s newly revamped Little Chef at Popham Services, off the M3 in Hampshire. Sitting in our retro-style booth, my friends and I tucked into the organic cheeseburger, scampi, and of course the iconic Olympic breakfast – a culinary triumph complete with baked beans. We all loved the striking 1950s style décor, designed by Abe Rogers, which features blue sky, seagull-dotted ceiling tiles and even music-activated toilets! On our departure, diners were queuing for 90 minutes – fast food has never been so chic.