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Origin opens after the end of Thyme

26 September 2005

A new restaurant has opened in London's Hospital retail and arts centre on the site of the former Thyme restaurant, which closed in July.

The new operation, Origin, is a joint venture between Adam Byatt, former chef-proprietor of Thyme, and Hospital owner Paul Allen. It will not involve Byatt's former partner at Thyme, Adam Oates, who is said to be looking to open his own restaurant.

Thyme went into receivership less than a year after moving from Clapham to Covent Garden, where chef-proprietors Byatt and Oates leased the property from the Hospital.

While Thyme was highly acclaimed in Clapham, the concept of tasting-size portions did not transplant well to the Hospital. A spokeswoman said it failed because of its higher prices and because it was too formal.

Origin offers lower prices, but will share some of the hallmarks of the original Thyme. Diners will still be encouraged to order flexibly from the modern European menu - perhaps choosing several starters and a desert, rather than the traditional three-course menu.

Starters include Cornish crab ravioli in a crab, herb and citrus broth or slow-cooked belly of Middle White pork served with black olive mashed potatoes and balanced with vinaigrette of cockles. Larger dishes include partridge pie or braised line-caught turbot served with yellow hanterelles.

As well as the formal 86-seat restaurant, Origin has a bar that is open from midday to midnight and also serves food.

Byatt, who said he had learned from his past experience, said he aimed to "create an exciting and truly successful landmark restaurant".

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