Only Food and Courses: Eighties-themed cult pop-up finds permanent home on the Strand

Smart take: though Lorraine’s cooking is based in British classics, his take is an elevated one  (Press handout)
Smart take: though Lorraine’s cooking is based in British classics, his take is an elevated one (Press handout)

After two years popped up in a shipping container, the Eighties and Nineties-themed cult pop-up Only Food and Courses has found a new permanent home just off the Strand.

Chef-patron Robbie Lorraine will take the concept, named for John Sullivan’s famous sitcom Only Fools and Horses, from Pop Brixton to upstairs inside the Cheshire Cheese pub on Essex Street. The new site, which will seat 26, will open on December 8.

The Cheshire Cheese sits a stone’s throw from its more famous Fleet Street namesake, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. Both are said to have been frequented by Charles Dickens.

Lorraine’s new restaurant will continue the ethos of his original, serving Eighties and Nineties-inspired dishes, including smoked salmon and eggs, duck liver pate, prawn cocktails, beef and onions, millionaire’s shortbread. Snacks will include duck éclairs and lobster doughnuts, and Lorraine will also do bar snacks for the pub downstairs.

Despite the borderline novelty concept, Lorraine will serve a six-course, £75 tasting menu; at his Brixton pop-up, he won critical acclaim for his upscale takes on classic food. The chef has also competed on the Great British Menu, and been a guest judge on MasterChef: The Professionals.

Robbie Lorraine (Press handout)
Robbie Lorraine (Press handout)

Like the original, the new OFaC will loosely look something like a traditional caff — the kind Del Boy and Rodney might have been found in — though the 18th century pub is Grade II listed, so modifications are limited.

Having previously teased the opening on Instagram, Lorraine said of the news: “I'm chuffed to bits to be opening in my first bricks and mortar site. I can’t wait to be able to showcase our modern take on nostalgic British food to a wider audience.”

“It has been a mad few years since we first launched, and I can’t quite believe how well the restaurant and our food has been received. Pop Brixton was a wonderful place for us to launch and the next stage in our journey being a great British pub makes perfect sense.”

Only Food and Courses will open on December 8 at 5 Little Essex Street, WC2R 3LD. For more information, visit @onlyfoodandcourses