Take one streetwise club proprietor, one successful Edinburgh restaurant, throw in a location at the top of the city’s vibrant Broughton Street and you get a venue with a tad more ambition than average. When club owner Warren Deighan sold the Honeycomb last September, he immediately began cooking up some new projects, the first of which will come to fruition at the former Catwalk on the corner of Broughton Street and Picardy Place. The venue reopens its doors on Friday 26 May as PopRokit a bar with food, DJs and attitude.

The food in this equation comes courtesy of the Dial, the restaurant on George IV Bridge with a respected modern Scottish menu and stylish interior. This venture, essentially bar food, is quite different from formal dining, but Adrian Hanger is enthusiastic about the collaboration. ‘Warren is a winner, a thoroughly clued-up operator and this is a good opportunity for us to expand our style,’ he says.

The PopRokit menu aims to keep up with two of the prevalent trends in current eating: the desire for healthier food on the plate and the need for that plate to get to the table fast. ’The menu,’ says Hanger, ’is very healthy, very raw. Get your stodge somewhere else.’ There's a

minimum of cooking involved and none of this hanging around waiting for the second course to arrive. Instead there’s the power lunch, available between noon and sandwich arrive

2pm, when your simultaneously.

soup and

For all day eating, there are sandwiches and platters to dig into and share with friends, as well as a leisurely weekend brunch served from 11am to 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Ingredients at PopRokit (think Mediterranean elements like salami, aubergines and

River Café Cookbook Green Ebury Press (£30)

Sweet smell of success: Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers.

122 THE usr 25 May—8 Jim 2000


Serving couch potatoes: furnishings by Ferrious at pRokit.

feta) will be marinaded, cured or slow roasted to pack maximum punch.

Style wise, the building has been refurbished rather than rebuilt with input from local designer Harry 3D and

furnishings coming from Ferrious, the company behind

Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers lead a Sickenineg perfect life. Their Italian restaurant, which started out as the workplace caff for the architectural firm of Ruthie’s husband Richard (now Lord) Rogers has become the very definition of 90s cooking (ambitious, modern but With a serious nod to heritage) and New Lab0ur values (apparently informal yet bloody expenyvel

Gray and Rogers are often pictured in immaculate whites, gently caressmg expenSive white truffles and sniffing melons. Trouble is, much as you want to loathe them, they are damn fine cooks, their books have been landmarks in British cookery writing and their restaurant has spawned a whole new generation of chefs including Jamie Oliver and Allegra McEvedy.

This, the third of the River Cafe

the legendary Lush in Manchester’s Canal Street.

Open till 1am, Poprokit will have an extensive programme of 015 on Friday and Saturday nights. See our clubs pages. (Moira Jeffrey)

I PopRokit, 2 Picardy Place, 07 37 556 4272

Cookbooks, is dedicated to seasonal produce. Which means there's a far greater emphasis on vegetables, frUit and herbs. While this is by no means a vegetarian cookbook, fish and meat dishes are so sparing that those who live meat-free COuld buy and use this book regularly Without trepidation.

DiVided into months, the book spans a year of produce from parsley in January, to asparagus in May and pomegranates in November. The reCipes are clear as ever and the pictures a feast of fresh vegetable gastroporn While some ingredients may be beyond the pocket of those of us who live Outside lslington, there's enough simple recrpes here like how best to roast a tomato to make it worth the purchase Just make sure it doesn't turn yOu into a member of the New LabOur Establishment (MOira Jeffrey)

Spit or Swallow

It’s all done in the best possible taste.

Many of the classic grape varieties we know so well these days came to prominence in the hands of the French. It's no Surprise that these grapes migrated all over the world and are arguably dOing better in their new homes than in their homeland, Samuel's Bay Riesling 1997 (Australia, £5.69) Riesling traditionally is at its best in areas like Alsace and Germany, but relatively recently it has been doing surprismgly well in Australia, and has threatened to be the Next Big Thing to come out of the country.

They can be bone dry, racy Wines characterised by the distinctive chocolate lime nose and straw notes on the flfllSh. This Wine shares these characteristics, is fuller-bodied than most and packs a bit of a punch. Phenomenal value for money, and distinctly different wrthout being extreme, this is definitely worth a try, even if you think Riesling's not for you, Redwood Trail Pinot Noir 1997 (California, £6.49) Pinot NOW is probably the most fickle grape to grow in the world. Few places have the climate to do it properly. Burgundy is the ObVIOUS chOice, where it has been grown to world acclaim for hundreds of years. Californian Winemakers, however, are the young pretenders, producmg staggering Wines from Pinot NOir unlike any on the planet.

This is fairly light in body, but oozmg taste With strawberry frUit and hints of cedar wood and tobacco. Better than any red Burgundy under £1 1.

Argento Malbec 1999 (Argentina, £4.99) The Malbec grape used to be the very unfashionable workhorse grape of Bordeaux. If a chateau's claret was a bit thin one year, they might try to beef it up With a bit of Malbec. It did the JOb, though sometimes inelegantly. No one imagined its future Argentina took it under its wing, and is now producmg very trendy reds of excellent quality.

This is big and beefy, more than the price would suggest, and With a great complexity of frUit character. Great With a slab of meat and a barbeque. (Gordon Haggarty)


M A l. I! F. (I

Wines available from Bottoms Up and selected Victoria Wines.