April 24 2014 Latest news:
Mark Shales & Uche Amako, Reporters
Monday, December 16, 2013
Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville were in town to launch their new 140-seater restaurant at Westfield Stratford City centre last Thursday.
The pair were joined by Neville’s Sky Sports colleague Kirsty Gallacher at the exclusive event, celebrating the opening of Cafe Football, which also featured a live Q & A.
The restaurant, on The Street, fuses sport with high-end food and despite retiring from football in 2011, Neville admits he is still under pressure to perform.
He said: “There is a definitely a thrill to this project.
“Wondering how many people will be coming through the doors each night and whether they enjoy it.
“Throughout our careers we’ve been judged on our qualities as football players and now we’ll be judged on the quality of our service and food.”
From a fish pie to a lamb kebab, the menu features a range of foods often associated with football, but given a special gourmet touch.
Giggs captained Team GB’s side at the London 2012 Olympics and was delighted to be back within a stone’s throw of the stadium.
“It’s something me and Gary have been working on for a long time,” he said.
“When we were looking at locations Stratford seemed like the perfect opportunity.
“The help we’ve had from the Westfield staff has been brilliant and hopefully we can continue on the good vibe from the Olympics.”
The menu also features Kirsty Gallacher’s Winter Warmer - a healthy chilli con carne priced £11.95 - and the presenter was delighted to be involved.
“It’s such a great concept,” she said. “The focus is on good food and wine, but by the way if you like football, great,
“They guys kindly asked me to select a dish so to be involved is fantastic.”
Managing director Stuart Proctor became friends with the footballing duo through his hotel and insists they make great working partners.
“I like them as people with their intelligent approach to business,” he said.
“They are both very well-grounded and have a great vision for their future.”
Executive chef Brendan Fyldes has been in the restaurant business ever since leaving school but is taking nothing for granted.
“I feel so honoured to be doing this here,” he said. “All new restaurants are exciting but especially this one. It’s my style of food.”