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An all-day Fitzrovia dining room with South American influences, in Fitzrovia's Mandrake Hotel.
Yopo, the all-day restaurant at Fitzrovia’s Mandrake Hotel, replaces Serge et le Phoque (later just ‘Serge’), which closed in January. Though named after a Venezuelan jungle plant, it serves a fusion of modern European and South American: think bite-sized Josper-roasted potatoes with fiery Argentine chimichurri, or savoury potato churros served with creamy bottarga (cured fish roe) for dipping.
A main course of octopus tacos was a DIY job: six soft corn tortillas, grilled tentacles mixed with avocado and coriander, a dollop of Mexican mole sauce and another of mildly spicy Peruvian ají panca, plus a side bowl of tomatillo sauce. It’s ideal for sharing, though you won’t want to.
Yopo’s chefs have mastered the art of contrasts; many dishes combine crunchy with smooth. A radish, raw beef, shiso and sesame roll was a refreshing mouthful of fragrant herbs and was not unlike a juicy, crunchy twist on a Vietnamese summer roll. Similarly, grilled aubergine came topped with crunchy puffed rice balls, while an Argentinian-inspired shortbread sandwich, its sweet dulce de leche filling woken up by zingy passionfruit sauce, was a strong finish. Seven days a week, Yopo also offers an extensive breakfast menu of free-range, organic eggs, ricotta pancakes and chia porridge, as well as two-and three-course set lunches. But the best time to go is in the evening, when the colourful, exotic art-adorned dining room comes to life with a live late-night DJ, mood lighting and cocktails. Come for the food, stay for the party vibe.
20-21 Newman St
|Transport:||Tube: Tottenham Court Road|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £150.|
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