New restaurant openings just Marched on this month, with an eclectic array of restaurants gracing our streets for the first time. Welcome to them all, here are some of our favourites…
Tomos Parry's Debut Restaurant
Opening on Redchurch Street, the restaurant will bring together Tomos Parry’s (formerly of Kitty Fisher’s and Climpson’s Arch) Welsh heritage with the Basque region of Northern Spain, to create a menu that uses British produce cooked on an open fire wood grill. Expect to find dishes of Carmarthen ham; fresh cheese; grilled baby peas and wood fire grilled breads; Cedar wood sea trout with Jersey cream and river herbs and a take on the Welsh national dish of Cawl – offal hot pot with laverbread and potatoes.
Bryn Williams Comes to London
For a location with such pedigree, it’s only right that Bryn Williams should choose Somerset House as the base for his first London restaurant in a decade, Bryn Williams at Somerset House. The new restaurant, ‘a creative exploration of seasonal produce with a strong focus on sustainability and provenance’, will be located in the South Wing of the building. The food quality is, as you’d expect, very high and despite the incredible surroundings and views, it’s also the main event. Intended to put fruit and veg centre-stage (Williams believes they should be treated with the same respect as a cut of meat or a fillet of fish) the menu will include roast young broccoli, olive tapenade, sage beignet, scorched Cornish mackerel and char-grilled leeks, Burke Brown egg, morel mushroom among others.
Cinnamon Kitchen Heads to Battersea
Feel the power! The Cinnamon Club’s superstar chef Vivek Singh is opening yet another restaurant, this time at Battersea Power Station. Adding to his stable of five wildly successful Cinnamon themed eateries (The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen, Cinnamon Soho, Cinnamon Bazaar and Cinnamon Kitchen Oxford) the chef will be taking a railway arch of his own at the Grade II-listed site and will be bringing his cinnamon-y magic to the iconic structure. Expect a sleek and urban feel inside, in keeping with the whole regenerated site, channelling industrial minimalism. Not so the menu, which will be a medley of Singh’s Indian creations spread over brunch, lunch and dinner as well as cocktails and light bites from Monday to Sunday.
Eastern Mediterranean Restaurant Opens In Marylebone
Following a residency at Shoreditch House and making a success of their first restaurant, Strut & Cluck, husband and wife team Limor and Amir Chen have gone West to Marylebone Lane to open Delamina. Inspired by the founders’ Israeli, Iranian and Russian roots the food heavily draws on the herbs and spices of the Eastern Med, with an emphasis on healthy eating. Dishes include deboned poussin, glazed with ras-el-hanout and honey, then charcoal grilled and served with roasted sweet potato and Limor’s chermoula-glazed cod on a warm salad of Israeli cous cous, artichokes and wild za’atar, served with yoghurt.
Putting the Hām in Hamstead
Hām is the Old English word for home. It’s also the name of the new West Hampstead neighbourhood restaurant. Head Chef Matt Osborne has cooked up a menu that champions produce from small British famers and artisan suppliers, as well as reflecting his Australian background. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, dishes include crumpets with honeycomb, Westcomb ricotta and pear and Bircher muesli, almonds with Hurdlebrook yoghurt and rhubarb; whilst in the evening you’ll find Norfolk quail, artichoke, kombu and watercress and Dexter beef with black sesame, white soy and turnips. Finish with chocolate crémeux, blood orange sorbet and peppermint of cheese from Mons Cheesemongers and Neal’s Yard Dairy.
What the Pitta?
What the Pitta, the UK’s first vegan doner kebab stall opened their third and flagship branch in Camden. Realising the benefits of a plant-based diet but missing the grilled flavours of Turkish foods, vegan Cem Yildiz, joined forces with friend, Rojdan Gul, whose uncle had been making cult vegan kebabs in Germany for years. The result was What the Pitta and a pop-up in 2016 at The Pump in Shoreditch. The kebabs are made from non-GMO soya chunks, marinated in a blend of Middle Eastern spices, homemade humus, tzatziki and fresh salads, and wrapped in handmade bread. Also, on the menu you’ll find a Turkish pizza, baklava and a couscous salad box.
Middle Eastern opening in Belgravia
Abd el Wahab, one of the most acclaimed Lebanese restaurants in the Middle East, has opened its first international outpost on Belgravia’s Pont Street. The slick import is serving traditional Lebanese dishes alongside wines and Arabic coffees from the region, all set over two light-filled floors designed by Beirut-based Antonie Tabet & Associates. The menu mirrors the style and quality of the restaurant group’s existing restaurants, with a selection of Abd el Wahab classics, selected by the group’s Executive Chef Kamil Bouloot. Expect a wide array of mezze dishes, perfect for sharing, along with vegetarian, meat and fish-based courses.
New Ramen in Islington
In 2014 Kanada Ya arrived in Covent Garden, opening a further restaurant in Haymarket and, as of 22nd March, on Islington’s Upper Street.
The authentic Tonkotsu ramen specialist uses an incredibly time-consuming process to perfect their ramen and as a result it has a unique flavour and creamy appearance that has proved irresistible to Londoners. The new Upper Street restaurant will not only provide the same popular selection as found in the two existing outposts of Kazuhiro’s empire, but will also introduce gyoza later in the year.
Wet Pussy's on the Menu
Created by Scott Hallsworth (along with Phar Shaweewan) last July after he left Kurobuta, the Freak Scene pop-up served up ‘curious’ Asian dishes inspired by Scott’s experience in Japan, Singapore and Malay and it was a big hit. So this month they went permanent, opening on Soho’s Frith Street. The menu includes favourites from the pop-up such as miso-grilled black cod tacos with sushi rice and scorched red chilli; chicken-fried chicken with peanut soy and cucumber pickles and a honey-hoisin grilled pork belly with mussels and chilli jam ssam wrap. New to the menu are the likes of foie gras croissant with star anise jus and a crispy nori cone with tea-smoked beef fillet, pickled onions and wasabi cream. And when it comes to drinks, we’ll be ordering the Wet Pussy (seriously, why?) a mix of peach schnapps and vodka with a twist of lemon and lime.
A Story to Tell in Fitzrovia
Those who have been to Indian restaurant Lokhandwala, will know that it is based on Victorian aristocrat Lady Charlotte, the spurned lover of Vijay Kapur, an insalubrious cad from Bombay. Well now it’s Vijay’s turn to have somewhere dedicated to him as Vijay’s Lounge opens today, a speak easy bar, above the restaurant. A secretive bar where he could run his empire and no doubt hide from Lady Charlotte.
Just like Vijay, the bar will be rich, moody and opulent with an impressively stocked bar, striking bronze chandeliers, oil paintings and a silver elephant; come the summer, you can drink on the alfresco terrace. The cocktails narrate the story of Lady Charlotte and Vijay, which rather reads like a 19th century Jilly Cooper: broken hearts, promiscuous unsuitable lovers and lots of fleeing to and fro. We’ve got our eye on the Spice Route made from red saffron infused Sailor Jerry rum, camomile infused Cointreau, liquore Strega, anise syrup, cinnamon syrup and goji berries bitter. To eat there’ll be Indian inspired bar snacks or head downstairs to Lokhandwala for the likes of Masaledar fish and chips.